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opened : and another book was opened, which is the book found for any contrary system. We him that is ready to judge the quick do not desire to interpret ihese things and the dead. For, for this cause too strictly, nor to make too much of was the gospel preached also to them what may appear to some a minor that are dead, that they might be circumstance; but we have no doubt judged according to men in the flesh, the revelator had his mental eye on but live according to God in the this metaphor of Daniel. Observe spirit.” That by the dead here is not again Daniel's words: “The wind meant those who had passed out of carried them [i. e., the broken ele- the present into the immortal state, ments of the earthly kingdoms) away, but the dead in ignorance and sin, is that no place was found for them; and acknowledged by commentators of the stone that smote the image became different sects, some of whom are of a great mountain, and filled the whole very high standing. Adam Clarke earth." The revelator's language, says, on 1 Peter iv. 5: “To judge the then, is very appropriate, under our quick and the dead signifies, they view of the subject. He was describ- shall give account of these irregulariing the ascent of Jesus to the medi- ties to him who is prepared to judge atorial throne, on which he was to both the Jews and the Gentiles. The reign until all opposing systems Gentiles, previously to the preaching passed away, and the gospel filled of the gospel among them, were reckthe whole earth. How appropriate oned to be dead in trespasses and then to say, “I saw a great white sins; Eph. ii. 1–5; under the senthrone, and him that sat on it, from tence of death because they had whose face the earth and the heaven sinned. The Jews had, at least by Aed away; and there was found no their religious profession, a name to place for them;" ver. 11.
live; and by that profession, were 12. And I saw the dead. — These bound to live to God."--(Com. on the were the persons to whom the gospel place.) In addition to the opinion of was to be preached, and who were to Dr. Clarke, we give the following be judged, and ruled, and governed from Dr. Macknight: “ To judge the by it. The dead are those who were living and the dead. — From the folburied in ignorance of God; who lowing verse it appears, that by the knew not his law; who obeyed him dead the apostle meant the Gentiles, not, and were therefore represented said in other passages to be dead as dead, until they believed the gos- through ignorance and sin. Consepel. We have found this judgment quently, by the living we are to unof the dead, small and great,” men- derstand those, who, by their profestioned once before in the Apocalypse, sion in the gospel, are reputed to be viz., xi. 18, in connection with the alive; Rev. iii. i. Thou hast a name closing up of Judaism and the open that thou livest, and art dead. See, also, ing of the gospel reign; and there the 1 Tim. v. 6. The living and the revelator stated, “ Thy wrath is COME, dead, therefore, are the Jews and and the time of THE DEAD that they Gentiles.” See Macknight on the should be judged,” &c. See the long Epistles. Dr. Whitby, in his very valnote on that verse. This preaching uable Commentary on the New Testhe gospel to the dead, and judging tament, speaks of this passage as them thereby, is mentioned in other follows: - “The dead, in Scripture, parts of the New Testament. In fact, doth often signify, not those who in a the living and the dead are both natural sense are dead by dissolution judged by the gospel. This is the of the soul and body, but those who meaning of Peter's language, 1 Epis. are spiritually so, as being alienated iv. 5, 6: “Who shall give account to from the life of God, and dead in tres
of life : and the dead were | judged out of those things
passes and sins; as when the apostle four quarters of the earth, who saith, The widow that liveth in pleas- attacked the camp of the saints; the ure is dead whilst she liveth ; 1 Tim. devil was not carried away from the v. 6; and Christ unto the church of earth to be cast into the lake of fire ; Sardis, Thou hast a name to live, and the “great white throne” was on the art dead ; Rev. iii. 1. And when he earth, and was set up at the time speaks to one of his disciples thus, "the earth and seas, and the old rollFollow thou me, and let the dead burying skies,” (Watts,] passed away ; their dead ; Matt. viii. 22. This is a and why, then, should it be supposed phrase so common with the Jews, that the judgment is not on the earth? that, as Maimonides informs us, they 2d. In those parts of the New Testaproverbially say, The wicked are dead ment in which the immortal resureven while they are alive: for he, rection is unquestionably spoken of, saith Philo, who lives a life of sin, is there is no mention made of the dead as to a life of happiness; his soul setting up of the great white throne, is dead, and even buried in his lusts or the passing away of the heavens and passions. And because the whole and the earth, or the judgment of the Gentile world lay more especially dead, small and great, according to under these most unhappy circum- their works. We reaffirm, that stances, whence the apostle styles nowhere, in all the Bible, are these them sinners of Gentiles ; Gal. ii. 15; things mentioned in connection with it was proverbially said by the Jew- the resurrection of the dead into the ish doctors, The heathens do not live ; | immortal state, unless it is in the and they in Scripture are more pecu- passage before us. If we should liarly intended by that phrase. Hence interpret this passage as having referthe apostle saith to the Ephesians ence to the immortal existence, the and Colossians, Eph. ii. 1, Col. ii. 13, interpretation would stand alone, unthey were dead in tresspasses and sins; supported by another passage in all and brings in God thus speaking to the Bible. Should not a fact of so the Gentiles, Awake, thou that sleepest, vast importance make us hesitate in arise from the dead, and Christ shall regard to such an interpretation ? give thee light; Eph. v. 14.” These, 3d. Did not Christ commence to judge then, were the dead that were to the nations when he ascended the be judged, and the judgment com- great white throne? Read the 11th menced to take place when “the and 12th verses in connection. See great white throne was set up, and again the words of Jesus, Matt. xxv. the earth and heaven fled away from 31, 32: “ When the Son of man shall the face of the Son of man, and at come in his glory, and all the holy the time of the new heaven and new angels with him, THEN shall he sit earth, and of the descent of the new upon the throne of his glory: and Jerusalem to the earth; xxi. 1-4. before him shall be gathered all naThere are very serious and weighty tions,”' &c., &c. In the parable from objections to giving any other inter- which this last extract is made, Jesus pretation to the passage before us. represented the nations as being 1st. To place this judgment after judged by his gospel according to their the immortal resurrection would not works, not their faith, or baptism, agree with the whole drist of this or professions, but their works. See chapter. The scene of the destruc- Matt. xxv. 31–46, especially verses tion of the dragon was laid on the 35, 36, and 42, 43. Now, when did earth; the reign of Christ was on the the judgment here described take earth; after the thousand years had place ? Answer. When the Son of expired nations were found on the l man came in his glory. See the
which written in the books, according to their works. proof; it follows: “When the Son related in point of style than those of of man shall come in his glory, and Daniel and the Apocalypse. The all the holy angels with him, THEN former is the Apocalypse of the Old shall he sit upon the throne of his Testament, the latter of the New. glory ;” Matt. xxv. 31. When did And we have already shown that the the Son of man come in his glory ? revelator had his eye on the prophecy We have already proved, beyond all of Daniel when he wrote the section dispute, that it was during the life of the Apocalypse which we are contime of some of those who had sidering. Now Daniel clearly shows attended personally upon his min- that the judgment of the nations comistry. See the proof: “For the Son menced simultaneously with the comof man shall come in the glory of his mencement of the reign of Christ. Father, with his angels; and then he Let the reader consider attentively shall reward every man according the following facts. The kingdom to his works. Verily I say unto you, of Christ, as all know, commenced There be some standing here, which in the days of the Roman Empire. shall not taste of death, till they see « And in the days of these kings shall the Son of man coming in his king. the God of heaven set up a kingdom, dom ;” Matt. xvi. 27, 28. Christ which shall never be destroyed : and commenced to judge the nations ac- the kingdom shall not be left to other cording to their works when he people, but it shall break in pieces ascended “the great white throne.” and consume all these kingdoms, and If, then, the judging of the nations is it shall stand forever ;' ii. 44. That in the future state, Christ Jesus will the judgment commenced at the same not ascend “the great white throne” time with the commencement of the until all men have entered the future kingdom, is fully evident from Dan. state. And in that event, there is vii. 9, 14: “I beheld till the thrones now no Mediator, no_kingdom of were cast down, and the Ancient of heaven among men.
To such absur- days did sit, whose garment was dities are we driven by the common white as snow, and the hair of his interpretation of the passage before head like the pure wool : HIS THRONE
was like the fiery flame, and his It is of the utmost importance to be wheels as burning fire.
A fiery remembered, that the judgment of the stream issued and came forth from nations under the gospel commenced before him : thousand thousands minwhen Christ commenced to reign, and istered unto him, and ten thousand shall not be discontinued until he times ten thousand stood before him : shall resign the kingdom to the Father. THE JUDGMENT WAS SET, AND That Christ will resign the kingdom THE BOOKS WERE OPENED. to the Father at the immortal resurrec- I saw in the night visions, and behold, tion, Paul shows, 1 Cor. xv. 24-28. one like the Son of man came with The judgment began when Christ the clouds of heaven, and came to the assumed the kingdom ; but if we sup- Ancient of days, and they brought pose the judgment will be postponed him near before him. And there was until the immortal resurrection, we given him dominion, and glory, and make the judgment begin not until a kingdom, that all people, nations, Jesus shall resign the kingdom. This and languages, should serve him : is most singular, that the judgment his dominion is an everlasting dominshould commence not at the time the ion, which shall not pass away, and Lord Jesus ascended the throne, but at his kingdoin that which shall not be the time he shall leave it ! There are destroyed.” Does not this show, that no two books in the Bible more nearly 'the judgment was established and the
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and books were opened at the same time time the old heavens and earth passed that the kingdom was given to the away, xx. 11, and was simultaneous Son of man; at the same time that with the descent of the New Jerusahe came in the clouds of heaven? lem from heaven to men; xxi. 1–4. One fulfilment of the description is Are these things yet future? Surely enough. If it has been once fulfilled, they are not. And why, then, we we need look no further; we should ask, should the judgment be thought be satisfied. We quote the words to be future, which is indissolubly which Prof. Stuart utters, not on this linked to them by the sacred writers? precise passage, but on the Apoca- 6th. The judgment of the nations lypse in general: “What John de according to their works, if we may clared would take place shortly, hap- rely on our Lord's words, (and surely pened according to his prediction; he is the highest authority,) was beand if so, the dispute whether it is all gun before the close of the natural to happen over again [the italics are lives of some of those who were on his) after so many centuries, cannot the earth, during his personal minbe a dispute of much interest or im- istry; Matt. xvi. 27, 28; Mark viii. portance. One fulfilment is enough.” 38; ix. 1; Luke ix. 26, 27. 7th.
(Hints, 2d ed., 1842, pp. 141, 142.) The judgment of the nations by the That Christ commenced the judgment Lord Jesus is not a personal judgof the world when he set up his king- ment, [except in the metaphorical dom, is evident further from the sense,] but a judgment by the princi. following considerations. 1st. God, ples of his gospel ; John xii. 48. See under the Old Testament, judged men our remarks on this topic under xiv. in the earth; see Psa. lviii. 11. 6, 7. 8th. The judgments of the “ Verily, he is a God that judgeth in Apocalypse are all represented as the earth.” See, also, Prov. xi. 31 ; being near at hand, present, already Isa. xxvi. 9. When he sent his Son, known, and manifested on the earth. he did not inform men that the scene They are said to be “on the earth ;" of the judgment was to be removed vi. 10; "the time of the dead, that they to some other world, but the contrary. should be judged,” IS COME ; xi. 18; 2d. The prophets preässerted, that the “the hour of his judgment is COME ;" judgment of Christ should be in the xiv. 7; “thy judgments ARE made earth. "He shall not fail nor be dis manifest ;" xv. 4; the seven vials in couraged, till he have set judgment which was filled up the wrath of God, in the earth ;" Isaiah xlii. 4. 3d. / and which contained the seven last Jesus himself declared that he came plagues of the Apocalypse, were all into this world for the purposes of to be poured out on the earth, not judgment. “ For judgment I am excepting that which was to be poured come into this world ;" John ix. 39. out on the seat, throne, or place of the 4th. He affirmed, when on the earth, beast ; xv. 1; xvi. 1; see, also, 5— that the time of his judgment had 7; the judgment of Rome was cer
“Now is the judgment of this tainly on the earth, because it conworld;" John xii. 31. We inquire, sisted of death, mourning, famine and in the words just quoted from Prof. conflagration ; xviii. 8—10; see, also, Stuart, is it all to happen over again? xix. 2. Whether men shall be sina “ One fulfilment is enough.” 5th. ners in the post-mortem state, it is It has been proved that the judgment not our purpose here to discuss. If commenced simultaneously with the they shall be sinners there, they will gospel reign, at the same time that surely be miserable. But that the Jesus ascended the mediatorial throne. judgment of the nations under the Compare xx. 11, 12. It was at the gospel is on this earth, seems to us so death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and clear, from the evidences we have and the skin covered them above; advanced, that it would appear almost but there was no breath in them. impossible to make it more so. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto
It was a very important event that the wind, prophesy, son of man, and the revelator undertook to describe in say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord the language before us. It was no God; Come from the four winds. O less than the ruling and governing breath, and breathe upon these slain, of the world by Jesus Christ. It was that they may live. So I prophesied about to commence in his day. His as he commanded me, and the breath fancy supplied him with splendid came into them, and they lived, and image of the august epoch of the gos- stood up upon their feet, an exceeding pel. The scene was spread out before great army. Then he said unto me, him like a panorama. He saw the Son of man, these bones are the whole nations all buried in sin, in darkness, house of Israel : behold, they say, in unbelief. It had been a custom of Our bones are dried, and our hope is the Hebrew prophets to employ the lost; we are cut off for our parts. state of natural death to represent the Therefore prophesy and say unto state of ignorance, unbelief and sin. them, Thus saith the Lord God; The revelator availed himself of the Behold, O my people, I will open same figure. He saw the dead, [not your graves, and cause you to come the raised,] small and great, stand up out of your graves, and bring you before God. He saw the judgment into the land of Israel ;" Ezk. xxxvii. begin; the books were opened. So 7—12. Now here the metaphor of Daniel had said: “Ten thousand times literal and absolute death was em. ten thousand stood before him; the ployed to represent the lost and unjudgment was set and the books were done condition of the nation of the opened.” The regions of hades were Jews. And so, in the revelator's searched to bring up a fitting meta- fancy, “the dead, small and great,"' phor to represent the state of the were used metaphoricaily to reprenations at the time the reign of the sent the nations in darkness and 'sin, gospel begun. When men fall into standing before God, to be judged by sin and darkness, they are said to fall the gospel, at the time it was introinto hades, the state of the dead. duced into the world. But when the While they remain in sin and dark- gospel shall have done its work, and ness, they are said to remain in that Christ shall resign the kingdom to state. And when the gospel came to the Father, then men will not be dead, the world, all men were regarded as but “alive through Jesus Christ our being in that state. The figure of the Lord.” dead, small and great, standing before Our Lord himself employed a sim. God, is very similar to the allegory ilar metaphor when he spoke the of Ezekiel — the vision of dry bones. parable of the “rich man and Laz. The people were not merely repre- arus.” He drew his images from sented as being dead, but their flesh the under world ; and that parable is was consumed, and their bones were founded on the notions which had dry. The prophet was commanded prevailed among the heathen respectto prophesy, and he did so. “Iing hades, or the state of the dead, prophesied as I was commanded : and and which the Jews had partially as I prophesied, there was a noise, received. Yet our Lord did not adopt and behold a shaking, and the bones those heathen notions as true; he came together, bone to his bone. used them metaphorically, as one who And when I beheld, lo, the sinews lived earlier had done the idea of the and the flesh came up upon them, trees going forth to choose a king.