Revelation 20:13
The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds.
Satan LoosedJ. A. Seiss, D. D.Revelation 20:7-15
Satan Loosed from His Prison After the Thousand YearsC. Clemance, D. D.Revelation 20:7-15
The Age of Moral ReactionD. Thomas, D. D.Revelation 20:7-15
The Saints Compassed by EvilWm. Guild, D. D.Revelation 20:7-15
Death and the GraveH. Bonar, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15
Life a BookH. J. Bevis.Revelation 20:11-15
On Future Happiness or MiseryJ. Grant, M. A.Revelation 20:11-15
On the General ResurrectionJames Roe, M. A.Revelation 20:11-15
Society Divided by Christ into Two Great PartsRevelation 20:11-15
Standing Before GodBp. Phillips Brooks.Revelation 20:11-15
The Age of RetributionD. Thomas, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15
The Book of LifeJames Wells.Revelation 20:11-15
The Book of LifeJ. Trapp.Revelation 20:11-15
The Book of MemoryDe Quincey.Revelation 20:11-15
The Books of JudgmentBp. Morrell.Revelation 20:11-15
The Books OpenedT. De Witt Talmage.Revelation 20:11-15
The Day of JudgmentJames Walker.Revelation 20:11-15
The Eternity of the Sorrows of the LostG. Matthew, M.A.Revelation 20:11-15
The Final JudgmentS. Conway Revelation 20:11-15
The Final Judgment Upon Evil ConductR. Green Revelation 20:11-15
The Fourth Scene in the History of Humanity: the Age of RetributionD. Thomas Revelation 20:11-15
The Great AssizeJ. D. Carey.Revelation 20:11-15
The Great White ThroneH. Bonar, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15
The Great White ThroneBp. R. Bickersteth.Revelation 20:11-15
The Great White ThroneC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 20:11-15
The Great White ThroneH. Batchelor.Revelation 20:11-15
The Great White ThroneS. Coley.Revelation 20:11-15
The JudgmentT. T. Munger.Revelation 20:11-15
The JudgmentCanon Hutchings, M. A.Revelation 20:11-15
The Last AssizeH. Melvill, B. D.Revelation 20:11-15
The Last JudgmentR. W. Hamilton, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15
The Last JudgmentC. Bradley, M. A.Revelation 20:11-15
The Last JudgmentJ. G. Breay, B. A.Revelation 20:11-15
The Last JudgmentJ. A. Macdonald.Revelation 20:11-15
The Open BooksG. Salmon, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15
The Opened BooksJ. A. Macfadyen, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15
The Opening of the BooksW. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.Revelation 20:11-15
The Revivals of Memory a Prophecy of JudgmentAbp. Wm. Alexander.Revelation 20:11-15
The Sea Giving Up its DeadW. R. Williams, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15
The Terrible Doom of the LostC. S. Robinson, D. D.Revelation 20:11-15

Stripped of its imagery, this most solemn Scripture declares to us the truth which is found in records manifold. Those of the Bible. The confirmatory passages are everywhere throughout its pages, and especially in those which record the very words of Christ. The most dreadful things in the Bible fell from his lips. Those of the traditions of ancient and heathen peoples. Everywhere we find, as especially in Egypt, creeds which declare a final and awful judgment. Those of conscience. They tell of "a fearful looking for of judgment." Read 'Macbeth,' and wherever any great writers have drawn true portraitures of men, the witness of conscience may be heard in them all. The imagery here is taken from the tribunals, and the procedure in them, with which the age of St. John was familiar - the august and awe inspiring paraphernalia of justice, the magnificent and elevated throne of the judge, the giving of the evidence, and the sentence. But underlying all this metaphor are such truths as these -

I. THAT DEATH DOES NOT END ALL. This great transaction takes place when life is over, when this world is done with. Men, therefore, live on after death, or else they could not appear at this judgment bar. And that men do thus continue to live in their true real self, there is much evidence, beside that of Scripture, to show. The ancient Greeks disputed whether the relation of the soul to the body was that of harmony to the harp, or that of the rower to the boat. If the former, then, if you destroy the harp, you destroy the harmony it gave forth; and so, if you destroy the body, you destroy the soul too, and death does end all. But if the second, then the boat may sink or go to pieces, but the rower lives on still. And so is it with the soul. The body - its boat - may sink into the depths of the grave, but the soul sinks not with it. Professor Huxley has affirmed that "life is the cause of organization, and not organization the cause of life;" and Tyndall has shown that dead matter cannot produce life. Life, therefore, must exist prior to and independent of matter, and therefore can exist after the material organization which it for a while animated has decayed. We are the same self conscious beings in old age as we were when in childhood, though our bodies have changed over and over again meanwhile. Death, then, does not end all; we live on, and so one demand of the doctrine of final judgment is met.

II. THAT THERE SHOULD BE RECORDS UPON WHICH THE JUDGMENT SHALL PROCEED. They are spoken of in this Scripture (ver. 12) as "books." "And another book, which is the book of life." The books contain biographies, and therefore are voluminous. The "other book" contains but names, and therefore is but one. No biography is needed; nought but the fact that they believed in Jesus. But what is meant by the "books"? Simply that there are records of the soul's life, which will be opened and read in the great judgment day. They are found:

1. In the souls of others. In the character we have helped to impress upon them. There is no one but what has written down evidence about himself on the souls of others. If we have helped them heavenward, that is there; if we have urged them hellward, that is there.

2. But chiefly in our own souls. We are always writing such record, and it may be read even now in the body, in the countenance, in the very way we bear ourselves before our fellow men. Character can be read now. It comes out at the eyes, in the look, the aspect, is heard in the tone of voice. But much more helps to conceal it. The restraints of society, the regard to the opinion of others, make men reticent and reserved and full of concealment of their real selves. But in the spiritual body it is altogether probable that the essence of the man will be far more visible - may, in fact, be, as many have thought, the creator of its body, so that "every seed" shall have "its own body." But on the soul itself its record will be read. Many a man can trace yet the scar of a wound, and that not a severe one, which he received thirty, forty, fifty, years and more ago. The ever changing body will so hold its record. And there are scars of the soul. Wounds inflicted on it will abide and be visible so long as the soul lasts. Like the undeveloped plate of the photographer, a mere blurred surface until he plunges it into the bath, and then the image comes out clearly; so our souls are now illegible and their record indistinct, but when plunged into the bath of eternity, then what has been impressed thereon will be distinct and clear. Then the image of "the deeds done in the body" will come out with startling but unerring accuracy. If man can find out means, as he has found, so to register the words and tones of a speaker that they can be reproduced years after, and whenever it is desired, is there not in that discovery of science a solemn suggestion that all our "idle" and worse "words" may be recorded somewhere, and be heard again when we thought they were forgotten forever? Yes, there are records. And -

III. A JUDGMENT. "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after death the judgment." "And they were judged every man," etc. (ver. 13). What do these Scriptures mean? Now, the Greek word for "judgment" is "crisis;" that is the Greek word, simply, in English letters. But what is more is that our word "crisis" does more accurately set forth the meaning of "judgment" than what is commonly understood thereby. When we speak of a "crisis," we mean a turning point, a decisive settling as to the course which affairs will take. That is a crisis. But when we speak of "judgment," the imagery of these verses rise up before our minds, and we think of an external judge, and a sentence that he passes upon us. Judgment, however, often takes place. How common it is to hear it said of a man who has passed through some great experience, "He has never been the same man since"! Great trials, disappointments, distresses of any kind, and great successes and wealth also, act as crises, turning points, judgments, to a man. They act like the watershed of a district, which determines which way the streams shall flow; so these great crises of a man's life turn this way or that the moral and spiritual dispositions which dwell in him. They do much to settle him in a fixed habit of character, for good or ill, as the case may be. How much more, then, after "death" must there be "judgment"! Then, freed from all the restraints of life, from all that hindered the manifestation of what he really was, his nature now gravitates towards that side of spiritual character to which it has long been leaning, but from which it has hitherto been held back. It takes up its position according to its nature. If evil, with the evil; if good, with the good - for in this case his name is found "written in the book of life." It is ill for us to put off the idea of judgment until some far distant day, amid some unwonted scenes. God's judgments are continually taking place, and every thought, act, and word is helping to determine to which side, whether to the right hand or to the left, our souls shall go.

IV. THE SENTENCE. It has been said that this judgment told of here is of the ungodly only, and that the book of life is mentioned only for the sake of showing "that their names are not there." We cannot think this. Nothing is said about the sentence of any, only the final fate of the ungodly. "The lake of fire," the "oven of fire" (Matthew 13.), and similar expressions, are metaphors taken from the barbarous punishments of that age. To east men alive into fire was a fearful but not unusual punishment. Hence it is taken because of its fearfulness as a figure of the final fate of the ungodly. Evil character such as that into which they have settled is like a raging fire, and the blindness of heart and mind which attends such character is like "the blackness of darkness" itself. We may see men in hell today when filled with the fury of rage and passion; and, blessed be God, we may see others in heaven because filled with the peace of God. Heaven or hell is, in great degree, in a man ere ever he enters either the one or the other. They are in us before we are in them, and the judgment is but each man's going to his own place. What solemn confirmation, then, do such Scriptures as that before us receive from observed facts and experiences of men in this life! What urgency, therefore, do they lend to the exhortation, "Commit thy way unto the Lord"! And how prompt should be our resolve to entrust the keeping of our souls unto Christ, so that in the great judgment after death they may go with Christ and his saints into eternal life! "Jesus, by thy wounds we pray, help now that our names may be written in the book of life" (Hengstenberg). - S.C.

I saw a great white throne.

1. The character of this manifestation. A "throne" is an emblem of glory. This is a "white throne." There is not a single stain upon it. It is a "great white throne." Great in its occupant: He filleth all in all. Great in its influence: toward it the eyes of all intelligences are directed; to it all beings are amenable; from it all laws that determine the character and regulate the destiny of all creatures, proceed.

2. The effect of this manifestation. Before its refulgence this material universe could not stand: it melted — vanished away. It will pass away, perhaps, as the orbs of night pass away in the high noontide of the sun: they are still in being, still in their orbits, and still move on as ever; but they are lost to us by reason of a "glory that excelleth."


1. In the resurrection there will be a connection between man's raised and man's mortal body.

(1)The one rises out of the other.

(2)The one retains the same plan, or outline, as the other.

(3)The one fulfils the same functions as the other.

2. The resurrection will be co-extensive with the mortality of mankind. Not an infant too young, nor a patriarch too old. Tyrants and their slaves, sages and their pupils, ministers and their people — all will appear.


1. There will be no atheism after this.

2. No deism.

3. No indifferentism.


1. The worth of a man's character will be determined by his works.

2. A man's works will be determined by recognised authorities. God's moral and remedial laws are "books," and they will now be opened — to memory, to conscience, and to the universe.

3. According to the correspondence, or non-correspondence, of man's works with these recognised authorities will be his final destiny.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

I. A THRONE. Yes, a royal seat, a seat of judgment, the seat of the great King and Judge of all.

II. A GREAT THRONE. All earth's thrones have been little, even the greatest — Nebuchadnezzar, or Alexander, or Caesar, or Napoleon; but this is "great"; greater than the greatest; none like it in magnificence.

III. A WHITE THRONE. White is purity, truth, justice, calmness. Such is the throne to be — unsoiled, untainted, incorruptible; no one-sidedness nor imperfection; no bribery nor favour there. All is "white" — transparent and spotless perfection.

IV. ONE SEATED ON IT. It was not empty or unoccupied, nor filled by a usurper, or by one who could not wield the power required for executing its decrees. God was seated there; that very God before whose face heaven and earth flee away; that God whose presence melts the mountains, and made Sinai to shake (Psalm 102:26; Isaiah 36:4; Isaiah 2:6; Jeremiah 4:23, 26; Revelation 6:14; Revelation 16:20). How terrible to stand unready before such a Judge and such a throne! All justice, all perfection, all holiness! Who can abide His appearing? But besides the Judge and the throne, there are the millions to be judged.

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

I. WHEN ONCE THE GREAT WHITE THRONE IS ERECTED, ALL DISTINCTIONS OF THIS LIFE WILL HAVE BEEN FOR EVER ABOLISHED. We often marvel at the contrast exhibited in the present life, between the circumstances or conditions in which mankind are placed. From the extreme of affluence to the extreme of destitution there are endless varieties of condition, yet, in certain respects, all are equal; the noble and the mean; the richest and the poorest. Surely it ought to make the wealthy set loose to their riches, and the poor think lightly of their poverty, when it is remembered how soon the small and the great will stand alike before God, to be judged according, not to their respective conditions on earth, but each according to his works.

II. The next feature which calls for notice is THE OPENING OF THE BOOKS. The idea is that of a faithful register to be brought forward hereafter, to decide the everlasting portion. Thus, when we hear of the books to be opened at the judgment, and of men being judged out of those things which are written in the books, we are, in effect, reminded that the actions which we day by day commit, the very words we speak and the thoughts we indulge, contribute the materials for a final reckoning, upon the issue of which will be suspended eternal joy or eternal shame. This regard to the inevitable connection between conduct in this life and our portion in eternity, would serve alike to restrain from iniquity and impel to obedience.

III. It must not be overlooked, however, that while mention is made of books — of several volumes of account — out of which the dead will be judged, ALLUSION IS MADE TO BUT ONE BOOK OF LIFE, containing the names of those who would be saved. Possibly an intimation is hereby conveyed as to the comparative fewness of the saved. Yet another interpretation of the difference is, that, whereas there are many different methods by which men may go to perdition, there is but one way of life. It is not alone the heathen, who never heard of a Redeemer; nor the infidel, who professed to disbelieve the existence of God or a revelation; nor the heretic, who corrupted the truth and turned the grace of God into lasciviousness; not alone the scoffer, the profligate, the profane, who will be excluded from heaven; but the impenitent, the unbelieving, the unconverted, the ungodly — all who have refused to lay hold of the salvation which is offered in the gospel.

III. THE DEAD, UNIVERSALLY, ARE SAID TO BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS. This accords with the representation given in other parts of the Bible. The reward is of grace; the judgment is according to things done in the body.

IV. THE ISSUE OF THE JUDGMENT, AS DESCRIBED IN THE CLOSING VERSE OF THE CHAPTER. No sooner has the evangelist spoken of the judgment itself, than he tells us of the extinction, thenceforward, of death and of hell. There will be no more slumber in the grave. Up to this period the wicked will nat have entered upon the full consummation of misery. The soul is not the man. The soul, in union with the body, constitutes the nature, which Christ redeemed, and which must, hereafter, partake of punishment or reward. Hence the complete wretchedness will not overtake the wicked till the final abolition of death and the grave. "Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire." This will be the consummation of the ruin of the ungodly. From this doom there will be no appeal; from this sentence no reprieve. We can be earnest for time; who, comparatively, is earnest for eternity? The book is still open. Christ is willing to write your name there.

(Bp. R. Bickersteth.)

I. WHAT JOHN SAW. When the eagle-eyed seer of Patmos, being in the Spirit, looked aloft into the heavens, he saw a throne, from which I gather there is a throne of moral government over the sons of men, and that He who sits upon it presides over all the inhabitants of this world. There is a lawgiver who looks down and spies every action of man, and who does not suffer one single word or deed to be omitted from His note-book. Now we know that this moral governor is God Himself, who has an undisputed right to reign and rule. Some thrones have no right to be, and to revolt from them is patriotism; but the best lover of his race delights the most in the monarchy of heaven. In addition to this, His throne is one from the power of which none can escape. The sapphire throne of God, at this moment, is revealed in heaven, where adoring angels cast their crowns before it; and its power is felt on earth, where the works of creation praise the Lord. Even those who acknowledge not the Divine government are compelled to feel it, for He doeth as He wills, not only among the angels in heaven, but among the inhabitants of this lower world. See, then, at the very outset how this throne should awe our minds with terror. Founded in right, sustained by might, and universal in its dominion, look ye and see the throne which John of old beheld. This, however, is but the beginning of the vision. The text tells us that it was a "white throne." Does not this indicate its immaculate purity? There is no other white throne, I fear, to be found. Why, then, is it white for purity? Is it not because the King who sits on it is pure? Hark to the thrice sacred hymn of the cherubic band and the seraphic choir, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth." Creatures who are perfectly spotless themselves unceasingly adore the yet superior holiness of the great King. Oh fairest of all thrones I who would not be a willing subject of Thy peerless government? Moreover, the throne is pure, because the law the Judge dispenses is perfect. There is no fault in the statute-book of God. When the Lord shall come to judge the earth, there will be found no decree that bears too hardly upon any one of His creatures. "The statutes of the Lord are right"; they are true and righteous altogether. I have thought, too, that perhaps this throne is said to be a white throne to indicate that it will be eminently conspicuous. You will have noticed that a white object can be seen from a very great distance. We must see it; it shall be so striking a sight that none of us will be able to prevent its coming before us; "every eye shall see Him." Possibly it is called a white throne because of its being such a convincing contrast to all the colours of this sinful human life. There stand the crowd, and there is the great white throne. What can make them see their blackness more thoroughly than to stand there in contrast with the perfections of the law and the Judge before whom they are standing? Perhaps that throne, all glistening, will reflect each man's character. The next word that is used by way of adjective is "great." It was a "great white throne." You scarcely need me to tell you that it is called a great white throne because of the greatness of Him who sits upon it. Speak of the greatness of Solomon? He was but a petty prince. Speak of the thrones of Rome and Greece before which multitudes of beings assembled? They are nothing, mere representatives of associations of the grasshoppers of the world, who are as nothing in the sight of the Lord Jehovah. A throne filled by a mortal is but a shadow of dominion. This will be a great throne because on it will sit the great God of earth and heaven and hell, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, who shall judge the world in righteousness, and His people with equity. You will see that this will be a "great white throne" when we remember the culprits who will be brought before it; not a handful of criminals, but millions upon millions; and these not all of the lesser sort, not serfs and slaves alone whose miserable bodies rested from their oppressors in the silent grave; but the great ones of the earth shall be there; not one missing. It will be a great white throne, because of the matters that will be tried there. It will be no mere quarrel about a suit in Chancery, or an estate in jeopardy. Our souls will have to be tried there; our future, not for an age, not for one single century, but for ever and for ever. Turn not away your eyes from the magnificent spectacle till you have seen the glorious Person mentioned in the words, "And Him that sat on it." The most fitting One in all the world will sit upon that throne. It will be God, but hearken, it will also be man. The Christ whom you despised will judge you, the Saviour whose mercy you trampled on — it is He who shall judge righteous judgment to you, and what will He say but this — "As for these Mine enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, cut them in pieces before My eyes!"


1. Let me search myself.

2. Having spoken a word to the Christian, I should like to say to every one of you, in remembrance of this great white throne shun hypocrisy.

3. But there are some of you who say, "I do not make any profession of religion." Still my text has a word to you. Still I want you to judge your actions by that last great day. Oh sir, how about that night of sin? "No," say you, "never mind it; bring it not to my remembrance." It shall be brought to thy remembrance, and that deed of sin shall be published far wider than upon the house-tops.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE SUPREME TRIBUNAL: "A great white throne." It is a new wonder. St. John saw other thrones in more than one apocalyptic disclosure, but none like this. It is unique and transcendent. It is "great." It represents Divine majesty. It is "white." Its intolerable splendour is without a stain. It is not a throne of grace. To it no penitents are welcomed. None could bow before it. No elemency is published and no forgiveness dispensed. It is the supreme and final tribunal. From the decisions of this bar there is no appeal. The sentences of the King are irreversible.

II. THE INTOLERABLE PURITY OF THE JUDGE: "Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away." Descriptions may be indefinite from the lack of graphic ability in the narrator, or from the impossibility of seizing and reporting the transcendent and stupendous objects which he has to record. Not a single minute particular is given in St. John's outline of the dread vision. All that we are told of the throne is, that it is vast, and dazzling in its whiteness. "Him that sat upon" the throne; but not a syllable is there about that sight. Of that face — its majesty, brightness, terror — St. John could utter nothing; but he has recorded what followed its unveiling. Earth and heaven, as conscious and guilty things, fled away — just as the stars retreat and disappear when the sun darts forth at break of day, or rather as tow and gossamer fly and vanish when touched by the flame. The face from which all nature shrank into instantaneous invisibility, and could discover no space to hide in, was incapable of description.

III. THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE DREAD ASSIZE: "I Saw the dead, small and great, stand before God." Earth and heaven were permitted to vanish from the face, the splendour and purity of which they could not endure. Not so men. The guiltiest, though the heart shrink, must encounter the sight and hear the sentence. St. John "saw the earth and heaven fly"; but "the dead, small and great, stand," stand "before the throne," and await their doom.

IV. THE IMPARTIALITY OF THE SOLEMN AWARDS. The prominent truth in the vision is, He will "judge the people righteously." "According to their works," as good or evil, holy or unholy, the sentence will be given. Faith ""n the blood of atonement, without a life of reverence, virtue, love of God, self-sacrifice, and Christ-like nobleness, is the pretence of hypocrites and traitors. "According to their works," St. John saw "every man judged."

V. GREAT AND APPROACHING CHANGES IN THE SEEN AND UNSEEN WORLDS: "And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire." We cannot understand this statement without recalling the peculiarities of our present life. To the righteous now there exist the earth and the unseen heaven. After the judgment the distinction between the earth where we are and heaven where God is, will be abolished. The earth and the visible skies are to depart; the unseen heaven will alone remain. Resembling changes await the wicked. The bodies of the unrighteous are in the graves of this planet. Their souls are in Hades awaiting judgment. The scene of retribution is a future and unseen world. After judgment, the earth and the grave will be Be more. Hades — the unseen world of spirits — will be similarly abrogated. Death and Hades, and all which they represent, will merge in retribution, of which the lake of fire is the symbol.

(H. Batchelor.)

"I saw a throne." There is a throne now, but men do not see it. There is a real government now, but it will be a visible one then. You know the sceptic has doubts, because he cannot see. He says, "Where is God, and whom is the throne? I have never seen it." Did you ever see the throne of England? I never did — but you know there is one; you know there is a government. I never saw the Queen, and I dare say many of you have not seen her, but you know there is a Queen. I never saw the great King, but He is here. He reigns; and by and by His throne will become visible, and faith and doubt will be lost in sight, and the believer will say, "It is He"; and the infidel will say, "It is He"; and there will be no more doubting and no more believing — it will be sight. "I saw a throne." It is called a "great" throne. "I saw a great white throne." Now, of all the seats in the world, I believe thrones are the filthiest. I believe the throne of England to be one of the purest in the world; but that throne has oftentimes been stained with the blood that tyrants have shed. But that is the "great white throne." Many a time darkness has dimmed it round, for "clouds and darkness are round about him"; it has been veiled in mystery; but behind the cloud it was a white throne — a throne that never was tarnished by injustice, and that never was defiled by wrong-doing. The infidel and the doubter have often had hard thoughts of God; but when the throne is set it will be seen to be without a stain. "I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it." It is the Man of Calvary; it is the Babe of Bethlehem — but, oh, how changed! See His eyes piercing and flashing — pictures of His penetrating wisdom. See His feet that have the glow of the furnace, that outshine the sun in its glory. And then hear His voice. It is louder than the choruses of mature. It is "as the voice of many waters." And as He says, "Rise, ye dead." they come forth at His bidding. Oh, when that day comes, may you find that the blessed One who sits upon the throne is your friend. A minister was one day travelling with a young spark, a sceptical fellow; and as the manner of such men is, and probably liking a little to annoy the person with whom he was travelling, he said, among other things, "Talk about the Bible being an inspired book! why, I tell you, those books of the old pagans were far better; it is not fit to be named in the same day of the week with Homer." "Well," said the minister, calmly, "since you seem to be so great an admirer of Homer, would you give me a specimen — some favourite passage from your beloved author?" "In a minute," said the young man, "I will"; and very readily he pointed to what he thought a fair specimen of the sublimity and power of Homer, where he speaks in these words — "Jove frowned and darkened half the sky." "Now, there, sir," said he, "just think of the sublimity of that figure — the very frown of the god darkened half the face of nature." "I grant," said he, "you have selected with very good taste; but before you venture to pit your favourite author against the inspired Word of God, read it a little more. What do you say to this: 'I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.'" How much less sublime what you have repeated from Homer is than that? The young man was silent. I hope he learned never again to pit any book against the Book of God. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it." Now, those of you that are at all acquainted with the opinions of the people that lived when the Apostle John wrote, will know that it was thought among the most impossible of things that anybody should ever be recovered that was lost in the waters. Hence, in the Odyssey you will find that when Ulysses was in peril of drowning he moaned that he had not fallen in the fight before the walls of Troy, for he speaks of himself as sinking in the waters, and so being for ever dead. And it was a great opinion that all who had not sepulchral rites could never have peace or happiness after; the body they never dreamed could rise, but even the spirit they thought was destroyed. Blessed be God, we have a better view than that. How many of the bravest of Britain's sons and the fairest of her daughters have gone forth and have gone down with the storm for their requiem, the wreck for their coffin, and the waters for their winding-sheet. There they are. Though you do not know where they are lying, Jesus knows; and when the last trump is heard they will come forth. And not only so, but "death and hell shall give up the dead that are in them." This is a noble personification. Death and hell are the twin giants that rule the grave and the spirit-world. What a blessed thing it is that both will be conquered! When the trumpet is blown, the dust in the charnel will begin to stir and creep and quiver, and bone will come to his bone, and the frame will be built up again. And when the trumpet is blown, it will be heard in the highest heaven, and the blessed spirits will come down, and it will be heard in the deepest pit, and the lost souls will come up, and there, by some wondrous appointment, body and soul will be remarried never to be divorced for ever. "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God." I saw them — small and great — the man of wealth and the man of rank, the prince and the man of poverty. What a mighty host will that be! You and I will be among the number. Then there is another thing. "The books were opened." Now what are these books?

1. First of all, there will be the books of God's requirements. Where are these books? There are many. First, God's requirements as they are written in nature. The poor pagan has had that book, that book whose syllables are constellations and whose letters are stars. The firmament has declared the being and power of God, and the dew of heaven and the flowers of nature have shown His goodness. There is enough in nature to make a man feel after God, if haply he may find Him; and the heathen have had that.

2. Then there will also be that book of moral conscience which God puts into a man; and He has written something on the page of every heart. You may, if you like, try to be irresponsible, but there is something within that won't let you feel like that. When Pericles once kept one of his friends waiting, when at last he got in he said, "Pericles, why was I kept waiting so long?" He said, "I was preparing the accounts for the citizens." "Why take so much trouble?" said his friend; "why not declare yourself irresponsible?" Well, now, that is just what many silly infidels of this day say. They cannot get their accounts quite clear for the throne, but I tell you what they do — they declare that they are not responsible, that they are conquered by circumstances, and cannot help whatever they may be. Will that do? God will open the book of conscience, and He will judge you, and your own conscience will attest that God is true.

3. Well, then, there is the book of inspiration. Every sceptic in this land will be judged by this book. Your not believing it is no reason; if you do not believe it, you ought.

4. Well, the book of God's providence will be opened, and God will be justified in that day. You know sometimes His providence seems dark, and we are sometimes inclined to grumble, and say this is wrong and that is wrong; but when that day comes, it will all be open, and we shall say, "It is all right," and even the sinner will be obliged to bow his head and say, "It is all just."

5. And there is another book — the book of God's remembrance. It is a beautiful figure that represents the Divine knowledge as the book of God's remembrance. That book will be opened, and your very secret sins will all be there.

6. Ay, and then the book of memory will be opened. There are some strange facts that now and then transpire with respect to human memory. I do not believe when a thing has once been in your mind you ever really lose it again. I cannot understand it at all, but I could tell you fact after fact about it. I remember coming home from an appointment one very dark night, and there came on a storm, and by and by the lightning flashed out, and for an infinitesimal portion of time I could see everything. There I saw the church steeple, which might be a mile off, as plainly as could be, and the whole of the landscape, in that infinitesimal portion of time. Have you never had it like that in your memory? I believe there is a key somewhere that would unlock everything you ever did, and bring it up before your mind. Now, when the books are opened, the book of memory will be opened, and there will come flashing up pictures of all sorts of things you did; and I tell you, if you do not get sin washed away by the blood of Christ, there is nothing for you but horrors — horrors for ever.

(S. Coley.)

I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God
When Massillon pronounced one of those discourses which have placed him in the first class of orators, he found himself surrounded by the trappings and pageants of a royal funeral. The temple was not only hung with sable, but shadowed with darkness, save the few twinkling lights of the altar. The beauty and the chivalry of the land were spread out before him. There sat Majesty, clothed in sackcloth and sunk in grief. All felt in common, and as one. A sense of the indescribable nothingness of man "at his best estate," of the meanness of the highest human grandeur, now made plain in the spectacle of that hearsed mortal, overcame him. His eye once more closed; his action was suspended; and, in a scarcely audible whisper, he broke the long-drawn pause — "There is nothing great, but God." I take the sublimely affecting sentence and mould it to the present theme — There is nothing solemn but judgment. The thunderstorm is solemn: when the lightnings, "as arrows, shoot abroad." But what is it to that far-resounding crash, louder than the roar and bellow of ten thousand thunders, which shall pierce the deepest charnels, and which all the dead shall hear? The ocean-tempest is solemn: when those huge billows lift up their crests; when mighty armaments are wrecked by their fury. But what is it to that commotion of the deep, when "its proud waves" shall no more "be stayed," its ancient barriers no more be observed, the largest channels be emptied, and the deepest abyss be dried? The earthquake is solemn: when, without a warning, cities totter, and kingdoms rend, and islands flee away. But what is it to that tremour which shall convulse our globe, dissolving every law of attraction, severing every principle of aggregation, heaving all into chaos and heaping all into ruin? Great God! must our eyes see — our ears hear — these desolations and distractions? Must we look forth upon these devouring flames? Must we stand in judgment with Thee? Penetrate us now with Thy fear; awaken the attention, which Thy trump shall not fail to command; surround our imagination with the scenery of that great and terrible day!

I. LET US CONSIDER THE SCENERY WHICH SHALL ILLUSTRATE THIS AUGUST ASSIZE. The "throne" is the emblem of royal dignity. It is the symbol of Divine supremacy. "The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom ruleth over all." It is "a great white throne." It is vast, shadowy, undefined. No rainbow of the covenant girdles it; no suppliants or penitents sue before it; no pardons are issued from it. It is a tribunal throne. "He hath prepared His throne for judgment." It is occupied. There is One, that "sitteth upon it." This is often characteristic and distinctive of the Father. There is no manner of similitude. Nothing at first appears to guide us in the present discrimination. There is no form. It seems essential, and not distinguished, deity. But need we be at loss? "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ." He now "thinketh it no robbery to be equal with God," and as God He is "Judge Himself." "From the face" of Him who sitteth upon the throne, "the earth and the heaven flee away." Who can think of that countenance and not associate with It pensive downcast, deepest affliction, sweetest meekness? Into what expression mast that countenance have now kindled! With what terrors must it now be clothed! Things inanimate, insensible, smitten with a strange panic and with a sudden dismay, start back; and those refulgent heavens and this fair earth shrink into ancient disorder and anarchy: they rush into primeval chaos and night. Rut net so can the sinner "flee away"; rocks — mountains — cannot cover him; there is no hiding-place for "the workers of iniquity." It makes little difference whether it be the greater catastrophe or the inferior; the larger could not strike a deeper terror — the smaller could not induce a less. And why do heaven and earth pass away? and why is no more place found for them? They have realised their end. They were but as the scaffolding; the erection is complete. They are of no further use. They may be set aside. "The mystery of God" is "finished." There is "the consummation." Time, therefore, need "be no longer."

II. WE NOW, THEN, TURN TO THE MULTITUDE THAT SHALL BE SUMMONED TO THIS JUDGMENT. "Death delivered up the dead which were in it." This is the power of the grave, it is the personification of death. He who burst the barriers of the tomb and made death bow before Him — He shall send forth His mandate, publish His behest; and then the vaults and the catacombs and the mummy pits and the bone-houses shall disgorge their relics. It was much for the sea to obey Him who sitteth on the throne; it was more for inexorable death — the grave — the sepulchre — to yield its victims; but "hell" — the place of departed spirits, where the disembodied soul of man is to be found, whether in happiness or in woe — hades has listened to a voice until then unknown to it. The gates of "the shadow of death" unbar, and its portals fly open. And now there come — there come — there come — clouds of spirits rolling upon clouds, in swift succession, with impetuous rush; sumless, but unmixed, but individualised; the consciousness of each distinct, the character of each defined, the memory of each unobliterated, and the sentence of each foredoomed. And hades sends back spirits to those bodies, which the sea and the grave may no more retain. "The small and the great stand before God." All who have been among the mighty, and would not "let go their prisoners," and who "destroyed the earth," and all of minor state. None are so great that they can intimidate: none so little that they can escape. And thinking of that mighty throng, there is a distinctive circumstance which must not be overlooked: "every man was judged." God can say, "All souls are Mine"; and all souls, on that day, shall pass in review before Him. Each of your "idle words," each of your "vain thoughts," each of your impure desires, every bias of your spirit, every movement of your heart must reappear. "Be sure your sin will find you out."

III. LET US CONSIDER THE PROCESS WHICH MUST DETERMINE THIS JUDGMENT. When Hilkiah found the law, and read it to the people, they rent their clothes, terror-struck, that they had committed so many offences against a long-forgotten law. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" He is the God of judgment. He is the God of truth. "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth." But then that book, which is closed to so many, shall "be opened" — shall be opened in all its injunctions, all its penalties, all its sanctions. You will not then think that its bands are small; you will not then think that its terrors are weak. If the law, by one drop of its present fury, one flash of its present power, causes the stoutest heart and the most rebel conscience to quail, how will the stoutest heart be as tow in the fire, and the most rebel conscience be as wax before the flame, when this book shall be opened! — shall be opened in all its contents, shall be opened in all its principles, shall be opened in all its awards! But these "books" may refer to the discoveries of the gospel. And these might indeed cheer, and these ought indeed to fortify, if you have "won Christ and are found in Him." Yet if you are unbelievers still, if you are "enemies in your minds by wicked works," this book, the word of reconciliation, is more portentous in its aspect against you, even them the volume of the law. You will be judged "according to this gospel." All the beseechings of mercy, all the remonstrances of authority, all the pleadings of tenderness! This book shall be opened only the more terribly to convict and to condemn. Mercy will in that day be more terrible than justice.

(R. W. Hamilton, D. D.)


II. THE PERSON OF THIS JUDGE. Here is justice, we may say, here is retribution, in the very commencement of this judgment, the very constitution of this court — the once abased but now exalted — openly exalted — Jesus, is receiving from His Father a compensation for all His former degradation and shame.

III. THE DISSOLUTION OF THE WHOLE MATERIAL WORLD. What is a man advantaged if he gain the whole of such a world as this? The world would be a poor thing to make our portion, even if it were destined to last for ever, but we shall be alive ages and ages after it has perished; and if the world is our all, where then will our happiness be? where will our comfort and support be?



1. Its exactness. "The books were opened." "The books were opened" — the book of God's law; the law of His universe, which every creature is bound by his very existence in His universe to obey. The book of His gospel — a book superadded in man's case to the book of the law, and as binding on man when made known to him as the law itself. And then there is a hook to be opened within us, the book of memory and conscience. There are few of us who have not at intervals been surprised at the power of these two faculties within us; it is an indication of their future power when they are called forth in their full energy before our Judge.

2. The justice or equity of this judgment: "The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books." False accusers can do nothing against us now. Friends and flatterers can do nothing for us. They will not be listened to. The books — the true and faithful books only — will be regarded, and by their testimony will our sentence be determined.

3. The wonderful grace that will be manifested by Him in this judgment. There is another book mentioned. "Another book was opened, which is the book of life." "He that believeth shall be saved," it says. "Now bring forward that book of life. It is My once secret register of all that are Mine. Open it. There stands that man's name written; I with My own hand wrote it there; and though My law condemns him, and record upon record condemns him, yet he believed in Me for salvation, and that is enough — I will never condemn him. I will not blot out his name out of that book of life, but I will confess his name, declare and proclaim it here as a name dear to Me, before My Father and before His angels."

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

There are three great days connected with the history of our race.

1. The day the world was made.

2. The day the world was redeemed.

3. The day the world will be judged. It is to the last of these days our text invites attention. Come forth with me and view the scene. Every prophecy is fulfilled, the last hour arrived; the funeral day of the world has come. For the first and last time are found in one great assembly every angel, every saint, and every devil. The books are opened.


1. The day will be ushered in with sound of trumpet and the voice of God. The debaucher will be revelling in obscenity — the prodigal rioting in prodigality and wantonness — the self-righteous wrapped up in his own carnal security — the robber on his errand of sin — the whisperer slandering his neighbour — the infidel glorying in his shame — the miser counting over his gold — the soldier in the tented field — the sailor on the briny deep — the careless sitting at ease — the hypocrite practising deceit. When the shrill blast of the archangel's trump, waxing louder than ten thousand thunders, shall shake the earth, and the angel shall swear by Him that liveth for ever and ever that time shall be no more.

2. The Judge will appear. Every eye shall see Him, for like the sun He will appear equally near to all who shall be placed at His dread tribunal. All our previous ideas of grandeur will be infinitely surpassed by the realities of this solemn scene.

3. The dead shall be raised, and all created intelligences shall stand arraigned before the judgment-seat. People of every age and condition, rank and degree. Populous assemblies! Not one missing of past, present, or future generations.

II. PROCEEDINGS OF THE JUDGMENT. "And the books were opened."

1. There will be the book of God's omniscience. Every thought, feeling, desire, motive, and purpose of every heart are fully recorded; and every act of every life.

2. The book of conscience. The one will be found to tally exactly with the other. Oh, trifle not with your conscience, for it will wake up in the judgment and echo the truthfulness of God's omniscience.

3. The book of life. The Divine wisdom or remembrance, whereby the Lord knoweth them that are His.


1. The whole will be divided, and there shall be no mistake. Not one sinner shall stand in this vast congregation of the righteous.

2. Sentence will be pronounced. If we have not on the wedding garment, we must hear that awfully tremendous voice saying unto us, "Depart, ye cursed."

3. Execution of the sentence.

(J. D. Carey.)

I. THE SEAT OF JUDGMENT — a great white throne.

1. Its dignity. A throne is the seat of royalty (1 Kings 10:18, 19; Isaiah 6:1).

2. Its purity. White is an emblem of purity. As from the majesty of this throne there can be no appeal, so with respect to the equity of it there can be no just cause of complaint.


1. Who is the Judge? Jehovah in the person of Christ. The Father judgeth no man (John 5:22).

2. His qualification for His work.

III. Infinite knowledge.

(1)Unspotted justice.

(2)Unlimited power.

III. THE SUBJECTS OF JUDGMENT. "I saw the dead, small and great," etc.

1. The appearance will be universal.

2. The appearance will be inevitable.


1. Flee to the Cross of Christ.

2. Ever associate that day with feelings of the deepest solemnity.

(J. G. Breay, B. A. .)


1. The dead, small and great.

(1)Young and old.

(2)Rich and poor.

(3)Illiterate and learned.

2. These shall stand together before God.

(1)Social distinctions are not accounted at that tribunal.

(2)Ethnic distinctions cease.

(3)Distinctions of time also are at an end. All generations mingle in one grand congregation.

3. The value of character will then appear.(1) When conventional, accidental distinctions vanish, the real, permanent distinctions of character come out in the boldest relief.(2) The interval of the disembodied and millennial states will afford the best opportunities for reflection upon that conduct which is now crystallised into character.(3) If anything further is needed to force home this lesson upon the spirit, here it is in the excitements of the judgment — the prodigies — the Judge — the witnesses — the impending doom.


1. Christ appears not now as Mediator.(1) Death ends probation.(2) The shadows of the great judgment are felt here in the court of conscience. Works, words, thoughts, motives, should be ever examined here in anticipation of the more imposing court.(3) The preparation of holiness we must have.

2. He now appears as King.(1) He comes "in the glory of His Father" — the glory of His Divinity. The dead "stand before God."(2) He comes in "His own glory" — the glory of His exalted and beatified manhood. Here is the only universal Monarch. On His head are many crowns.(3) He comes with His retinue of holy angels.

3. His resources are equal to the occasion.(1) See the effect of His glance. The world kindles into conflagration (ver. 11; 2 Peter 3:7-12).(2) The eye of flame can discriminate as it can search.(3) What impiety can dare that throne?


1. The book of God's works.(1) This volume treats of His power. The forces of Nature assert His sovereignty. How has that been respected?(2) It treats also of His wisdom. The exquisite dovetailing of things, nice adjustments, wonderful adaptations, assert His adorableness. How has that been respected?(3) It treats further of His goodness. What contrivances to give pleasure to His creatures! Every voice of beneficence calls for gratitude. How have we responded?

2. The book of God's Word.

(1)In this we have His law.

(2)In this also we have His gospel.

3. The book of memory.

(1)God's memory forgets nothing.

(2)Man's memory will be prodigiously quickened.

4. The book of condemnation.

(1)The names of the doomed are written there. The character of the writing is legible and black.

(2)How many millions will find their names there! Is yours amongst the number?

(3)What does it mean to be written there? Exclusion from heaven.

5. "And another book was opened which is the book of life."

(J. A. Macdonald.)

Though the Book of Revelation contains much that is mysterious, and even inexplicable, passages such as this are as instructive as magnificent. The delineation is that of transactions in which we must all bear a part in the last general assize. It was before the Redeemer that the mighty multitude of those whom the grave had surrendered were arraigned, the title of absolute divinity being justly assigned to Him who is evidently the Son of Man, seeing that the two natures coalesced indissolubly in His person. Our text then proceeds to give some account of the principles upon which judgment will be conducted, showing that an accurate register has been kept of human actions, and that men will be judged according to their works, and therefore judged in righteousness. We know not whether the principles of God's moral government are insisted on with sufficient frequency and urgency from our pulpits, but we are sure that they produce not their due influence on the great mass of men. Here and there, indeed, you may meet with an individual whose thoughts are set on the account which he must one day render, and whose habitual endeavour it is to preserve an habitual sense of the coming of the Lord. But even individuals such as these will confess to you that their endeavours are but partially successful; that they have great cause of humiliation before God, on account of their forgetfulness of the day of trial. So that there can be no class of hearers to whom the subject of discourse presented by our text is not appropriate. We shall premise a few remarks on the necessity of a general judgment, in order to vindicate God's moral government, and then proceed to examine the several assertions made in our text in regard to this fact. Now, in every age of the world, men have been perplexed by what seemed opposite evidences as to the superintending care of a wise and beneficent Being. On the one hand, there is no doubt that we live under a retributive government, and that cognisance is taken of our actions by an invisible but ever-present Being whose attributes render Him the determined foe of vice and the steadfast upholder of righteousness. On the other hand, there has been an irresistible demonstration, from the experience of all ages, that no accurate proportion is at present maintained between conduct and condition, but that vice has most frequently the upper hand, while righteousness is depressed and overwhelmed. There has been no reconciling of these apparent contradictions, except by supposing that human existence would not terminate with death, but that in another, though yet unknown state, vice would receive its due meed of vengeance, and righteousness of reward. Thus you see how reason concurs with revelation in directing your thoughts to a state of retribution. We next remark that the season of judgment is not to arrive until the end of all things, when the dead shall be raised. Once admit that all men are to be put upon trial, and you also admit, so far as we can see, that their final portion is not entered upon ere that trial is past; for what could be more contrary to all show of justice than the sentencing after execution? But when men would curiously inquire into the particulars of the intermediate state, we are not at all able to answer their questions. We doubt not that the justified soul is immediately assured of its acceptance with God, and consigned to the peace and repose in the blessed certainty that heaven will be its portion. We doubt as little that the soul of him who dies in his impenitence is immediately conscious that its doom is determined, and given over to anguish and remorse because allowed no hope that lost time may be redeemed and hell yet avoided. It is the whole man, the compound of spirit and flesh, which has obeyed or transgressed; it must be therefore the whole man which is put upon trial, and which receives the portion whether of promise or threatening. Thus, whatever our thoughts of the intermediate state, we know that the allotments of eternity cannot be fully dealt out unless the vision of our text shall have been first accomplished, "and the dead, small and great, stand before their God." We pass now to the contemplation of the person of the Judge. We wish to set before you the combined wisdom and mercy of the appointment, that He who is to decide our portion for eternity, is the very Being who died as our surety. We cannot dispense with the omniscience of Deity; we see clearly enough that no finite intelligence can be adequate to that decision which will ensure the thorough justice of future retribution. But then neither can we dispense with the feelings of humanity; at least we can have no confidence in approaching His tribunal if we are sure that the difference in nature incapacitates Him from sympathy with those whose sentence He is about to pronounce, and precludes the possibility of His so making our case His own as to allow of His deciding with due allowance for our feebleness and temptations. It is thus we are assured that mercy and justice will alike have full scope in the transactions of the judgment, and that in appointing that the Mediator who died as our substitute will preside at our trial, God hath equally provided that every decision shall be impartial, and yet every man be dealt with as brother to Him who must determine our fate. It would have been an encouragement to wickedness had the Judge been mere man, and therefore liable to be deceived. It would have filled humble piety with dread had the Judge been only God, and therefore not "touched with a feeling of our infirmities." This leads us to our concluding point, the thorough righteousness of the whole procedure of the judgment.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

It is related of Daniel Webster, the reality of whose moral endowments no one disputes, that when once asked what was the greatest thought that had ever occupied his mind, he replied, "The fact of my personal accountability to God." Eliminate accountability, and man drops into the category of instinct and natural desire; if he is a savage, he becomes a beast; if he is civilised, he becomes virtually a criminal. Freedom and conscience imply accountability; accountability implies rendering account, and this implies a judgment; such is the logic that covers human life, few and simple in its links, but strong as adamant and inexorable as fate. It underlies and binds together the twofold kingdom of time and eternity — one chain, whether it binds things in heaven or things on the earth. It is the weakness of formulated theology that it arbitrarily transfers the most august and moving features of God's moral government to a future world, thus placing the wide and mysterious gulf of time and death between actions and their motives. All broken law begins at once to incur judgment; the quick pang of conscience that follows sin is the first stroke of judgment; while undergoing it the soul is passing a crisis, and turns to the right or the left hand of eternal righteousness. Thus we are all the while rendering account to the laws without and within; we are all the while undergoing judgment and receiving sentence of acquittal or condemnation. Conduct is always reaching crises and entering upon its consequences. It may be cumulative in degree, and reach crises more and more marked; it may at last reach a special crisis which shall be the judgment when the soul shall turn to the right or left of eternal destiny. A profound view of judgment as a test or crisis entailing separation, shows us that it attends change; for it is through change that the moral nature is aroused to special action. It is a law that catastrophes awaken conscience. It is also a peculiarity of the action of the moral nature under great outward changes that man is disclosed to himself. Recall the most joyful event of your lives, and you will find it to have been also a period of great self-knowledge. Recall your deepest sorrow and you will still more vividly recognise it as an experience in which there was a deep, interior measurement of yourself. If change has this revealing and judging power, the change of worlds must have it in a superlative degree. It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that cometh judgment; the testing and unveiling of character and conduct. Pre-eminently, far beyond anything that has preceded, man is then judged and assigned his true place and direction. I think the central truth of the judgment can nowhere more easily be got at than in the passage before us. No other symbol than that of "books" could so vividly convey the fact that the whole life comes into judgment. Nothing is left out or forgotten; there can be no mistake. The books are the unerring transcript of the life. The simplicity of the symbol is marred by the introduction of "another book" than those recording the works. Why is there "another book which is the book of life " — and what does it mean? Mankind do not go up to the throne of God to be judged simply by their works. Parallel with humanity is the kingdom of heaven. Parallel with men's deeds are the purposes of God. Over and above what humanity does of itself is a plan of redemption, the working out of which enters into human destiny. It may be that the other book represents that other power, and the influences that flow out of the life of Christ. It is a book of life, and He is the life of the world. Men are judged by the records of their works, but it may be that the sentence pronounced is affected by what is written in the book of life. I am aware that this complicates the thought, but we must remember that the problem of spiritual destiny is not absolutely simple. But we will leave this side issue and turn to the main thought — the books out of which men are judged. The books must be found in God, or nature, or man. The mind of God must indeed be a tablet whereon are written all the works of men, but let us not touch that ineffable mystery without warrant. Science, in the person of some of its high priests, has suggested that all the deeds of men are conserved as distinct forces in the ether that fills the spaces of heaven, and may be brought together again in true form, in some new cosmos, as light traversing space as motion is turned to heat when arrested by the earth. But we can find no link between such a fact, if it be a fact, and the moral process of judgment. We must search man himself for the elements of his great account. Take the mind: at first it is merely a set of faculties, without even self-consciousness, but contact with the world brings them into action — first observation, then memory; soon the imagination spreads its folded wings; then comes the process of comparison and combination, and thus the full process of thinking is developed — a process to which there is no end, and the capacities of which are immeasurable. When we reach the limit of our own powers, we open the pages of some great master of thought, and there find new realms that reveal corresponding powers. Take the soul: there are faculties that exist only in germ till certain periods of life arise. The child knows nothing of the love that breaks in upon the youth with its rapturous pain and yearning of insatiable desire, flooding the heights of his being, but the capacity was in the child. The soft touch of a babe's hand unlocks new rooms in the heart of the mother. New relations, new stages of life, disclose new powers and reveal the mysteries of our being. We are all the while finding out new agencies in nature; even its component parts are not yet all discovered, while the forces developed by combination are doubtless immeasurable in number and degree. Take the memory, the faculty through which the consciousness of identity is preserved. With so important a function to fulfil, it is altogether probable that its action is absolute, that is, it never forgets. We cannot understand its action, but probably we speak accurately when we say that an impression is made upon the mind. The theory that memory is a physical act, and therefore cannot outlast death, is untenable. Matter, having no real identity, cannot uphold a sense of identity, which is the real office of memory. The impression of what we do, say, hear, see, feel, and think, is stamped upon the mind. An enduring matrix receives the impression; is it probable that it is ever lost? We think we forget, but our thought is corrected by everyday experience. The mind wearied by till forgets at night, but remembers when sleep has refreshed the body. The body forgot; the mind retained its knowledge. We forget the faces we have seen, but on the first fresh glimpse we remember them. We revisit scenes that long since had faded from memory, but the new sight uncovers the old impression. Even so slight a thing as a note of music, or a perfume, will bring up scenes long ago forgotten; a strain of music, and a face that had grown dim to memory, comes back from the dead in all its freshness. De Quincey, a profound observer upon the subject, says that when under the influence of opium, the most trifling incidents of his early life would pass again and again before his distempered vision, varying their form, but the same in substance. These incidents, which were originally somewhat painful, would swell into vast proportions of agony, and rise into the most appalling catastrophes. This was the action of a diseased nature, but it indicates what shape our lives may assume if viewed at last through the medium of a sin-diseased soul Not only does the memory retain conduct, but all impressions upon the soul remain imbedded within it. Nothing is lost that has once happened to it. We are taking into ourselves the world about us, the society in which we move, the impress of every sympathetic contact with good or evil, and we shall carry them with us for ever. We do not pass through a world for nought — it follows us because it has become a part of us. It may be said that these impressions are so numerous and conflicting that they can yield no distinct picture hereafter. But we must not limit the capacity of the soul in this respect, in the presence of greater mysteries. In some sense, it may present, as it were, a continually fresh surface. A most apt illustration waits upon our thought drawn from the palimpsests forbad in the monasteries of Italy; parchments that, centuries ago, were inscribed with the history or laws of heathen Rome, the edicts of persecuting emperors, or the annals of conquest. When the Church arose, the same parchments were used again to record the legends and prayers of the saints. Later still, they were put to further use in rehearsing the speculations of the schoolmen, or the revival of letters, yet presenting but one written surface. But modern science has learned to uncover these overlaid writings one after another, finding upon one surface the speculations of learning, the prayers of the Church, and the blasphemies of paganism. And so it may be with the tablets of the soul, written over and over again, but no writing ever effaced, they wait for the master-hand that shall uncover them to be read of all, What are these apocalyptic books but records of our works printed upon our hearts? What are the books opened but man opened to himself? is is a view of the judgment that men cannot scoff at. Its elements are provided; its forces are at work; it lies within the scope of every man's knowledge. It is but the whole of what we already know in part. As there are powers in man that render judgment possible, so there are conditions on the other side that cooperate. One cannot be judged except there be one who judges. Man is judged by man; nothing else were fit. The deflections from perfect humanity cannot be measured except by the standard of perfect humanity. Hence it is the Son of Man, the humanity of God, who judges. When man meets Him, all is plain. His perfection is the test; He furnishes the contrast that repels, or the likeness that draws. This then is judgment: man revealed by the unveiling of his life, and tested by the Son of Man.

(T. T. Munger.)


1. It is an essential part in the creed of a Christian.

2. Its importance may be gathered from its prominence in the Scriptures. It is foretold in the Old Testament — the Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, Malachi, all reveal it. Our Lord, in His parables, especially in those called "eschatological," because of their reference to the "last things." The scene in Matthew 25. is in line with the text. The day of judgment is pointed to both in the Epistles and Apocalypse.

3. Yet belief in the general judgment is difficult. The mystery is so transcendental, so vast, so seemingly unlikely, that the inability of the imagination to bring home to itself this stupendous truth is apt to lead the understanding astray and to obscure the light of faith.

II. WHY THERE SHOULD BE A GENERAL JUDGMENT? The question was debated of old, why the particular judgment of the soul in the hour of death should not suffice. It was urged that the Lord judged the penitent thief and rewarded him with Paradise on the day of his death; Nahum 1:9 was quoted; and the fact that desert appertains only to the deeds of this life. Yet one verse demolished all this (John 12:48). The reasons for the general judgment may be found in this — that the issue of our actions do not stop with the actions themselves. Not only actions, but their far-reaching effects, will form the subject-matter of that tribunal. The complete being, body and soul, must also be arraigned before judgment is complete.


1. The persons: "the dead," the living being numerically inconsiderable when compared with the generations of mankind who had departed.

2. "Small and great" stand before God — that is, all earthly distinctions no longer are of any account; as we should say, "all sorts and conditions of men." The only surviving difference is that of goodness or badness.

3. They stand before the throne. They are not merely spirits, but men and women in bodily form.

4. He who sits upon the throne is the Son of man.

5. "The books were opened," etc.; that is, the secrets of all hearts are made manifest (Psalm 1:3; 1 Corinthians 4:5). "Another book," etc., has been differently explained, as that which pours light upon what is written in "The books," declaring what is good and what is bad in reality; or again, it is taken to be the book of Divine predestination; or again, as by St. Anselm, as "the life of Jesus," which is to test the life of His followers, which, perhaps, is the best exposition, for the issues are decided by the lives of those judged — by their "works."


1. Test our belief in the Second Advent of Jesus Christ: is our faith in the mystery clear and vigorous, resting upon Divine revelation and the teaching of Christ's Church?

2. Has the mystery an effect upon our lives, knowing it is one in which we must take part? Does it impress upon us the seriousness of life, and how we shall have to answer for all our actions?

3. Are we becoming more familiar with that other "book," the life of Christ, as written in the Gospels and made manifest in the lives of His saints? and seeking to bring our lives into more accord with it?

4. Do I live as one who really believes in the day of judgment?

(Canon Hutchings, M. A.)

Do you not see what that means? Out of all the lower presences with which they have made themselves contented; out of all the chambers where the little easy judges sit with their compromising codes of conduct, with their ideas worked over and worked down to suit the conditions of this earthly life; out of all these partial and imperfect judgment chambers, when men die they are all carried up into the presence of the perfect righteousness, and are judged by that. All previous judgments go for nothing, unless they find their confirmations there. Men who have been the pets and favourites of society, and of the populace, and of their own self-esteem, the change that death has made to them is that they have been compelled to face another standard, and to feel its unfamiliar awfulness. Just think of it. A man who, all his life on earth since he was a child, has never once asked himself about any action, about any plan of his. Is this right? Suddenly, when he is dead, behold he finds himself in a new world, where that is the only question about everything. His old questions as to whether a thing was comfortable, or was popular, or was profitable, are all gone. The very atmosphere of this new world kills them. And upon the amazed soul, from every side, there pours this new, strange, searching question, "Is it right?" That is what it is for the dead man to "stand before God." But, then, there is another soul which, before it passed through death, while it was in this world, had always been struggling after higher presences. Refusing to ask whether acts were popular or profitable, refusing even to care much whether they were comfortable or beautiful, it had insisted upon asking whether each act was right. It had always struggled to keep its moral vision clear. It had climbed to heights of self-sacrifice that it might get above the miasma of low standards which lay upon the earth. In every darkness about what was right, it had been true to the best light it could see. It grows into a greater and greater incapacity to live in any other presence, as it had struggled longer and longer for this highest company. Think what it must be for that soul, when for it, too, death sweeps every other chamber back and lifts the nature into the pure light of the unclouded righteousness. Now for it, too, the question, "Is it right?" rings from every side; but in that question this soul hears the echo of its own best-loved standard. That is what it is for that soul to "stand before God." God opens His own heart to that soul, and is both judgment and love.

(Bp. Phillips Brooks.)

The books were opened
By this imagery it is clear we are meant to understand that there is a record before God of all that we do here. Words and acts of ours which may have escaped our own memory are not lost sight of by Him. In one of the Bridgewater treatises, published some fifty years ago, Babbage pointed out what is in a certain sense true, however overstrained the speculation may have been, that there exist at this moment traces of every word ever spoken upon earth. We are all familiar with the facts that sound takes time to travel and that the further it travels the fainter it becomes. We know also that the air pulsations set in motion by our words do not cease to propagate themselves when they become inaudible to our ears, but that they travel on in fainter pulsations capable of being discerned by organs more sensitive than ours. Babbage's remark was that no limit can be assigned to this propagation; that the waves of air raised by any spoken word within some twenty hours have communicated to every atom of the atmosphere an altered motion due to the infinitesimal portion of the primitive motion conveyed to it through countless channels, which altered movement must continue to influence its path through its future existence. "Those aerial pulses, unseen by the keenest eye, unheard by the acutest ear, unperceived by human senses, are yet demonstrated to exist by human reason." True they may be infinitely small; but modern science concerns itself much with the infinitely little. Babbage's speculation, then, was that if a man possessed unbounded knowledge of mathematical analysis he would be able to calculate the minutest consequence of any primary impulse given to our atmosphere; or conversely from every slightest deviation from its orderly motions to detect the operation of a new cause, to trace the time of its commencement and the point of space at which it originated. Thus, he says, "the air itself may be regarded as a vast library on whose pages are for ever written all that man has ever said or even whispered. If we could imagine the soul in an after state of existence connected with a bodily organ of hearing so sensitive as to vibrate with motions of the air even of infinitesimal force, all the accumulated words pronounced from the creation of the world would fall at once upon the ear. Imagine in addition a power of directing attention entirely to any one class of vibrations; the apparent confusion would vanish, and the punished offender might hear still vibrating on his ear the very words uttered perhaps centuries before, which at once caused and registered his condemnation." And so in like manner he contends, "the earth, air, and ocean are eternal witnesses of the acts we have done. No motion impressed by natural causes or by human agency is ever obliterated. The track of every vessel which has yet disturbed the surface of the ocean remains for ever registered in the future movements of all succeeding particles which may occupy its place. The solid substance of the globe itself, whether we regard the minutest movement of the soft clay which receives its impression from the foot of animals or the concussion produced from fallen mountains rent by earthquakes, equally retains and communicates through all its countless atoms their apportioned share of the motions so impressed. Thus while the atmosphere we breathe is the ever living witness of the sentiments we have uttered, the waters and the more solid materials of the globe bear equally enduring testimony to the acts we have committed." Fanciful as this speculation of Babbage's may be, I could not help being reminded of it by the invention of the phonograph, an invention which seems destined to advance to greater perfection, through which what might seem to be the most transient thing in nature, the utterances of the human voice, are permanently fixed, so that words spoken in America have been heard in our islands, and it seems likely that men of future generations will be enabled to compare the very tones of the voice of actors or orators of our day. These things are only worth mentioning just as enabling the imagination to familiarise itself with the fact that words and actions of ours, transient as they are, can write themselves in permanent record. But there are ways in which they do so which come more practically home to us than those I have mentioned, which one is tempted to dismiss as a mere scientific fancy. In the first place, our words and actions are written in the book of our own memories. In fading characters, no doubt. Yet we know that many things which we seem to have long forgotten are not really blotted out of our recollections. Some accident often brings up to our remembrance events or conversations of times long gone by, which had been absent from our minds for years. A statement made by the late Admiral Beaufort has been often quoted. He was rescued from drowning, and reanimated after he had for some time lost consciousness. He stated that in the last few moments of consciousness a host of long buried memories had suddenly started into life, and that he seemed in these few moments to peruse the history of his whole past life. But this writing of the book of your memory is a trivial thighs in comparison of what I wish next to speak of: the writing on the book of your character. I had better explain what I mean by this word character. Mr. Mill long ago asserted that you could with certainty predict any man's actions on any occasion if you knew his character and knew the motives that were influencing him. The assertion is not true if you use the word character in its ordinary sense. A man may have deservedly got the character of being miserly, and. yet you cannot be certain that he will not act generously on some particular occasion, and vice versa. The sense in which the proposition is true is, if you understand by "character" the degree of susceptibility to different motives at any particular instant. So understood, the proposition is true, but it is one of those identical propositions which convey no information. You can tell with certainty whether or act a man wilt be impelled to action by a certain motive if you know what is at the moment the amount of his susceptibility in respect of that motive. But what I want now to remark is that character (in this, which may be called the scientific sense of the word) is in a state of continual change. Not to speak of changes of disposition resulting from changes of bodily health, every one of our words and acts in some degree influences our character, which results as the integral of a number of very small influences. The amount of change at any moment is imperceptible. The friend whom we meet day by day seems to us in bodily form the same to-day as he had been yesterday; until one day perchance it strikes us how much altered he is from what we can remember him, and in any case one who has not seen him for some time is struck at once with the change, perhaps finds it difficult to recognise him. In like manner it occurs to us from time to time to Cake notice of changes in a friend's character. We may take notice, for example, that he is less easy to deal with, more snappish in temper than he used to be. The topic does not need to be enlarged upon, what enormous alteration can be matte by the accumulated effect of minute changes, each separately, it may be, absolutely undiscernible. But what, though obviously true, much needs to be borne m mind is that none of these minute changes takes place without a cause. It changes in character take place, it is because every incautious word that falls from our lips, every thoughtless action, though our own attention may have been scarce conscious of it, is writing itself on our nature in characters far more deep and more practically important than in those traces on inanimate nature which formed the subject of Babbage's speculation. But there is yet another larger book on which our words and actions write themselves; for they influence not only ourselves, but others. Babbage spoke of the traces spoken words leave on the physical atmosphere. There is a moral atmosphere which presses on as all, though as in the ease of the physical atmosphere we feel not the pressure, and scarce take note of its existence unless when its motions are unusually violent. I mean, as of course you understand, the public opinion of the community in which we live, which is practically the law that regulates our conduct. On the wholesomeness of this atmosphere our moral health in great measure depends. But it too responds obediently to every impulse communicated to it by those who live in it. Public opinion is in short nothing but the aggregate representation of the moral sentiments of each individual of the community; and plainly each change in the moral condition of any individual affects that of the community. In an infinitely small degree, no doubt, but I have been all along pointing out that all the great changes in nature are the results of the accumulation of movements each infinitesimally small. Yet, however small the direct effect of the action of one individual on the whole community, it might be large enough in his own immediate neighbourhood. Poisonous miasma might be enough to make a whole house uninhabitable which might have no perceptible effect when diffused through the whole atmosphere. But no comparison with the action of completely inanimate bodies gives an adequate illustration. If you insert a little leaven into a lump of dough, it would be a delusion to imagine that the amount to which the character of the mass had been altered could be estimated by comparing the weight of the newly inserted matter with the weight of the entire. Now, as in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. The same temptations which assail us beset others too; if we are sensible of higher and nobler motives, so are others. The sight of a brave and generous deed excites admiration, which soon leads to imitation; the fall of one man leads others to think lightly of a similar fall as natural and pardonable. If it be true that every sound we make sets waves of air in motion which spread in wide and wider circles, far more is a similar statement true of the moral effect of the waves we set in motion. For the mere physical effect is so attenuated as it spreads as to become in a moment or two imperceptible to our senses, but as I just pointed out, it is otherwise in the moral atmosphere. Each disturbance brings new forces into action, so that the effect resulting from a single impulse may be immensely greater than any one could have predicted as due to the original force. Thus, though what we have said or done be not recorded by pen, ink or paper, it may be written in more permanent form by its influence upon others or ourselves. If I have seemed to you over subtle in elaborating the proof of this, remember I am doing no more than insisting that that is always taking place, instances of which are perpetually striking you. We may, if we look back on our own history, be able to trace in some degree how events were linked together and how trifles helped to bring us to form important decisions. But of the greater part of this we know little. And if God could enable us to read the book of our own lives we should be astonished to find how the performance of some petty act of duty has been blessed by Him as the means of giving us strength for higher service in His cause; or how some apparently trifling opportunities neglected had checked our own spiritual life or had resulted in serious injury to others. When the books are opened God may permit us to see, as He can see, each act written by its consequences. Nothing would make us more hate and dread sin than if we could see how each act of sin may not only be written in terrible stains on our own hearts and consciences, but even on those of persons dear to us, who may have drunk in poison from our example, which cannot be neutralised even by our repentance. I have not spoken of that book which most naturally suggests itself to a reader of the text, the book of God's omniscience, but I have shown that without going beyond what our own reason and experience tell us of we can see that our own words and actions do permanently record themselves.

(G. Salmon, D. D.)

I. A perfect memory, then, will accompany judgment. The fields of memory at some magic touch give back again all the lights and shadows which have ever swept across their surface. The children of memory rise again from their graves, and wander in without warning into the once familiar rooms which they have long ceased to visit. The canvas of memory is retouched by some artist whose skill restores the tints which had faded away. The colours of memory are like those in Egyptian halls, long concealed by sand, but fresh as if they had just come from the painter's hand when the drifted heaps are blown away. Is there absolute oblivion? What destroys memory and effaces her work finally? Not the loss of a sense — the deaf musician still possesses the strain which the outward ear has not heard for years. Not old age — the old man's memory is the one thing more touching than his forgetfulness. Not madness, or the fever which for a time seems to calcine the images of the mind. Memories retain in very different degrees, like the sand, like the freestone, or the marble; but all are gifted with this possibility of resurrection.

II. With a full perception of the reality of judgment accompanied with a revived memory we shall most profitably enter upon a consideration of the danger of evil thoughts. Let us suggest some simple rules of self-examination.

1. We should then, really examine ourselves, if possible every day, with this prayer — "try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart; prove me, and examine my thoughts." We should ask ourselves two questions every night. First, have I led any into sin this day? We sin together — can we repent together? Second, have I harboured willingly and knowingly any evil thoughts? Have I allowed the birds of evil omen to settle down upon the sacrifice, and failed to sanctify Christ as Lord in my heart? In the dreadful chronology of sin, the actual fall is often not the first, or the hundredth sin.

2. I now suggest some simple rules. When unholy thoughts come, pray quickly — "Spirit of evil! in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, depart." "Blessed Spirit of purity! quench this sinful thought." After falling into sin, pray — "God, be merciful to me a sinner! For the sake of Jesus Christ, lay not this sin to my charge." Occupy yourselves with business. Go into virtuous society. Do not go about visibly brooding. Take freely to wholesome literature and innocent recreations.

III. Enough, perhaps, of details. A word of motives.

1. A great commentator on Scripture advises us, if we are tempted to unholy thoughts, to look through our window. "Gaze," he says, "upon the serenity of the sky, and be possessed with a loathing of impurity." But what if we have lost the faculty for such a sight? what if we are colour-blind to all the blue of heaven? Seek for a purer joy.

2. Dwell upon the reality of judgment: Without this you will be liable to strange falls. You will be like sailors who are lost because they have not calculated for the "send" of the sea.

(Abp. Wm. Alexander.)

It is obviously of no importance whether we assume that the terms thus employed convey only an image or an absolute and literal reality. If the language is metaphorical, it is nevertheless used to convey to us the ideas which we should naturally conceive from the actual unfolding of a vast register.

1. First, then, there is the book of God's remembrance. Now, strictly speaking, there can be no such thing as forgetfulness in relation to God. Memory implies previous forgetfulness. To remember, is with an effort to summon up the past. But with God, who is eternal, inasmuch as time is not to Him, there can be no such distance put between one event and another. All things are uniformly and unchangeably present to Him. Neither does the multiplicity of the things recorded there cause either mistake or confusion. All things are always present to the infinite mind of the Eternal. Take the old man of fourscore years; God does not call up as by an effort that man's boyhood and earlier manhood, but He looks upon all that he then did, or said, or thought, as though it were now going on: for no past nor future can limit Him who is incomprehensible. The history of every one of us is indelibly written on the mind of God Himself.

2. But we believe that yet another book will then be opened. Each of us carries his own history, written and engraven on the tablet of his own spirit. Conscience will then slumber no more. No counterfeit voices will then drown its accents, or confuse its utterances. No burden of the flesh shall make the vision grow dim, which shall show us to ourselves, shall blur its colours, or distort its lineaments. Imagine, as far as you can, this perfect selfknowledge for the first time breaking in upon us by the quickening power of conscience. We are not, indeed, left altogether without witness beforehand of what this will be. We have an assurance respecting it, amounting to all but the testimony as of some who have risen from the dead, to tell us what they have seen and known. What if we go hence impenitent and unforgiven? What will it be in the resurrection of the dead, in the day when "the dead, small and great," shall "stand before God"? The light of God's countenance shines in on that stricken soul, alas! not now to save and bless, but to witness against, and to condemn. The first glance shows all. He knows as He is known. It tallies — that witness of conscience — with God's knowledge and revelation of him. Self-convicted, self-condemned, sinner, depart!

3. Two volumes have already been opened. A third remains. "Another book was opened, which is the book of life." Now with the idea of life is intimately associated the presence and working of God the Holy Ghost. He is "the Lord and Giver of life." From our baptism upwards, the Holy Ghost has been dealing with us, is dealing with us still, except we be reprobates. Nothing but our own deliberate sinfulness, the wilfulness of our own evil choices, can undo the Spirit's blessed work in our souls. The result of this life-long process of judgment will be seen then, when the books shall be opened, and that other book — "the Book of Life." The question then will be, What can you show of the Spirit of Christ? Upon the manifold doings of the earthly life, where is the seal of the Spirit of the Lord? What remains when the sifting is over, when all former judgments of the Spirit close in this one final judgment, after which is heaven or hell everlasting?

(Bp. Morrell.)

Someone has said, and the saying has often been applauded, "Give the past to oblivion, the present to duty, and trust the future to Providence." I fear that many of us are much more ready to comply with the first of those three directions than with the other two; indeed, many of us need no persuasion to induce us to consign the past to oblivion, or, at any rate, a great portion of it. But before we turn our backs upon it, might it not be well to form some sort of definite idea of the record that it contains, lest one day we should have to renew our acquaintance with it under the most painful possible circumstances? .Above all, before we consign it to oblivion, would it not be wise to endeavour to make sure that God has consigned it to oblivion also, or, at any rate, that part of it which tells against us? Judge therefore yourselves, that ye be not judged of the Lord. Unfortunately, however, this is just what most men are exceedingly reluctant to do. Too many resemble in this respect the conduct of the fraudulent bankrupt, who has a general idea that he is not solvent, but goes on from day to day counting upon the chapter of accidents, and hoping that some fortunate circumstance may sot him on his legs again; but who shrinks from going carefully through his books and facing his actual commercial position. Even so men drift on from day to day with a sort of undefined misgiving that all is not right between themselves and God, but shrink from facing the true state of the case; never put to their hearts the question, "How much owest thou unto my Lord?" or probe their consciences with an honest inquiry, "What hast thou done?" Are you prepared to face the record of your life? What! Would you shrink from putting that volume into my hands, and permitting me to read its contents in the ears of this congregation, or of your own friends? Then reflect, I beseech you, what will be your feelings when its inmost secrets are divulged in the very presence of your Judge and before an assembled world. We must realise our own individuality then, if we fail to do so now; and indeed it must be admitted that many of us do fail to realise it. Ah, it will avail us little to realise then, it may be for the first time, all that our own separate and distinct existence involves! Nay, rather, it can only enhance our terror then and deepen our despair. But it is otherwise now. And, oh, let me urge upon you the importance of rising above the shallow unrealities of a merely conventional life! Surely it were wiser that as such you should live, not indeed ignoring your relations to society, but neither, on the other hand, permitting your own individuality to be mastered by these relations. But there are other thoughts suggested to our minds by the words of our text. No doubt some other books may be opened in that last dread assize besides those which contain the record of our earthly lives. The book of Nature, which contains so much that seems perplexing and mysterious, and which is so often misread now, and still more frequently never read at all, will be opened at last in all its wonder. And when the books are opened at last, how strong, how damning will be the testimony of Nature against those who have deified her or endeavoured to content themselves with her. Wilt not His voice be heard upbraiding those who have thus abused her? "Ye fools and blind, I told you that here ye were strangers and sojourners, that ye were born to trouble, as the sparks fly upwards. I told you that here moth and rust do corrupt, that the grass withereth and the flower fadeth, and that the fashion of this world passeth away. I told you that the things which are seen are temporal. Why did ye live in contradiction to my teaching, ever seeking in me what ye should have known I could not bestow? I might have been your handmaiden or your instructress, but ye insisted on making me your substitute for God, and in doing so ye abused the gift God gave you in me, and, lo! He hath done justly in taking it away. Ye chose earth instead of God, and now ye have lost both for ever." Yet another book mill be the book of Providence, which will contain the record of God's dealings with

us, just as the book of our lives contains the record of our dealings with God. Here is one who had a pious father, whose life was a constant example of all that is beautiful and attractive in true religion. That life appealed to you, more eloquently than any sermon could; but you hardened your heart against it, and turned your back upon your father's God. You have been the subject of a mother's prayer. Ah I how often has she watered her pillow with her tears for you. You have often been stirred to the very depths of your nature by the appeals of that earnest servant of God whose ministry you attend, and time was When his holy eloquence so deeply impressed you that Son were almost persuaded to yield. Ah! in such cases as these, how will you face the book of God's providence? But there is another book surely that will be opened then, though to many it is a closed book now — the book of Revelation. "The words that I speak," exclaimed the Christ, "the same shall judge you at the last day." Ah! we may close our Bibles now, and keep them closed; but remember the glad tidings of deliverance and salvation has gone forth, and we have heard it, and whether we receive it and benefit by it or not, we can never be as though that sound had never reached us. And closely connected with this volume of Revelation there is another which will be opened then, though men seldom think of attempting to read it now — the record of the inner revelations of God to the soul, the story of the dealings of God the Holy Ghost with the heart of man. It will be, I am persuaded, a startling surprise to not a few when this "book" is opened. How many an inward desire, how many a smothered emotion, how many a rising tear, that they never thought of attributing to anything but natural causes, will men find to have been due to the secret influence of the Spirit of God! But there is one "book" more, and for purposes of judgment it is the most important book of all; and it is spoken of here as affording the criterion by which men must stand or fall, and its name is the Book of Life. Of this mysterious volume no less can be said than that Christ Himself is its Author. No one else can write a page or a line or a name in the Book of Life. Are any of you saying to-night, Would to God my name might be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, but how is it to be done? I have no power to write it there, and I feel as though it never could be written there. I have merited death over and over again; eternal life I feel, I know, I never can merit. To such let me say, the kingdom of life, the land of the living, has been thrown open to you by Him whom St. Peter well calls the Prince of Life, and he has obtained the right to introduce you into the fellowship to inscribe your name upon that muster-roll. Put your case into the great Life-giver's hands. Tell Him that you have discovered yourself to be a citizen of the City of Destruction. Tell Him that you feel you cannot by any effort of your own will quicken your own soul, and that therefore by faith you cast yourself upon Him as the "Resurrection and the Life," and you shall prove in your own experience the truth of His words: "He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and he that liveth and believeth on Me shall never die." "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."

(W. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.)

You are writing your own history, your own biography, the memoirs of yourself. A mysterious and invisible agency is silently tracing the records of your life. The waves in the sea write their history in the ripple marks, congealed in the sands; and so, the hidden and silent currents of our thoughts and feelings leave behind them permanent traces. What you write, God reads. Life is a history. We may classify men's lives as we do books. We have separate series on different subjects.

1. Life may be the history of mind — its growth, culture, and education — its thoughts, perplexities, and questionings — its researches and conclusions. And, yet, till we sit at the feet of the Great Teacher, and learn of Him, we shall never find rest for our souls.

2. Life may be the history of the affections. In some lives the affections determine the character. They are the freshness, the beauty, the strength and joy of life. They may be misplaced — they may degenerate into passions. Instead of being the strength of life, they may become the source of its weakness. A life without love to Christ is a life that does not know what love is, that has never read the literature of the spiritual realm, that has never found the love that passeth knowledge.

3. Life may be the history of the flesh. It may be a life in the flesh — the minding the things of the flesh; a life written in the letter, not in the spirit; a life in sensuous characters. If we live after the flesh, we shall die.Take another series of the books.

1. The book may contain the history of a life that has its ideal — its pattern — its standard. All its endeavours are after the higher life. He who has seen the perfect will never more be satisfied with the imperfect. He who has looked on the mark of the prize of his high calling of God in Christ Jesus, will forget the things that are behind, and reach forth unto those things that are before. But the book may contain the history of a life that has no ideal, no standard; that is, formless, shapeless, purposeless: a life that proposes to itself no end, that has no continuity, no cohesion, that is fragmentary and broken; a life, the scattered fragments of which can never answer any efficient purpose. We may look at another series.

2. In the book we may read the history of a brave life — a life that has its foundations in the everlasting principles of truth; that brings nothing but truth to the truth, and so builds up character; that offers stern resistance to all forms of evil, and does battle with all kinds of falsehood; that practises self-denial; that builds no cross for itself, and yet never fears any cross the world can build; that uses suffering as a sharp instrument for fashioning life, and bringing it into conformity to Christ. It may be a simple and quiet life of which we read the records — a life not wanting in its naturalness, its beauty, its fragrance. The true sons of God often live in obscurity; the world knoweth them not, but then — it knew Him not.

3. It may be the history of a useful life — a life essentially practical — the epitome of which may be found in the words descriptive of the life of Christ, "Who went about doing good." When you die, it may be said that you "rest from your labours, and that your works follow you."

4. The book may contain the history of a Christian life. It is the life of one who felt himself to be a sinner, and has looked out of himself for a Saviour — who has come with all his guilt to the Cross — whose trust is simply in the one Sacrifice for sins.

5. You may read a book that contains the history of an unreal life — a life professing to be Christian, but not a Christ-like life; a life that has "the form, but not the power," that has "a name to live, but is dead"; a life that adjusts with the greatest care the drapery of religion, that arranges all its folds, so that they may fall gracefully around it; a life that has the lamp, but not the oil in the vessel. There is another book which you may read every day — it is the history of a life that is, alas, very common — a life of indifference to everything spiritual. It does not positively reject, but it offers indifference to the Gospel: indifference to God's love, to Christ's death, to the Spirit's work, to all earnest and loving appeals. It is indifference that ruins men. There is only one more series which we can find time to glance at.

6. It is a worldly life which we are reading now. It thinks only of buying and selling and getting gain. With what sorrow we read the history of a life that is perverted and abused. But we cannot finish reading these books that are open to us without being impressed with the fact that many a life is the history of failure. There was failure at the beginning, failure in the middle, and failure at the end. The book may have this title — "The History of a Life that was a Failure." Some of you are young; you have a fair page; there is as yet no blot, no erasure has been made; you have life before you — it is unwritten. Take care what you write, for what is once written "is written." There can be no new edition, with its emendations and corrections. Ask God's Spirit to teach you, to help you, to guide you by His counsel. We may learn from the subject, "The Possibilities of Life." We may well be aroused from our apathy, and be ashamed of our indolence. Is there no end grand enough? Is there no prize sufficiently attractive? Why do we not exercise ourselves unto godliness? Do not confine all labour to the wants of the outward life. Strive for things that are worth striving for. "Work out your own salvation," etc. The books will be opened. We are to be judged out of the book which we ourselves have written. We are now framing the indictment; we are collecting the evidence; we are preparing the materials of judgment. We shall judge ourselves, and God will judge us.

(H. J. Bevis.)

I. There is no power of man's body, no faculty of his mind, no feature of the world he lives in, which does not become a book recording all he does.

1. Man has a relation to God. God is part of his world. God's memory and God's heart must become a record for or against him.

2. We stand in relation to the Book in which God has recorded His will. It challenges our belief and exacts our obedience. It lays down the principles of holiness, and enforces the guilt of transgression. Such a Book surely must be laid open at the bar of Judgment. Its mysterious passages will be read in a flood of light. Its neglected pages will flash with the fire of indignation.

3. Providence is another book in which man's character is written. The mind of man cannot disentangle the threads that are intermingled in the web of life. But there is one Hand that can. He knows the end from the beginning.

II. Science has its own suggestions on this matter. It points us, for instance, to a slab of sandstone taken from the quarry, and bids us notice the impressions left upon it. In the dim past a reptile of monstrous shape walked along the shore of an ancient sea seeking its prey, and left these marks behind it. The next tide covered the footprints with a layer of sand, and the following tide did the same. For centuries that process was repeated; deeper and deeper sank the sandstone, still preserving the story of the reptile's life, till a change took place. The mass of rock, long buried, was heaved up again into the sunlight. Man needed the rock for his dwelling: the crowbar opened the leaves of the stone book, and science interpreted it. Yes! and we are told that what the rock did for that reptile the universe is doing for us. The air is a vast library, on whose pages are written for ever all that we have said or even whispered. There is not a thought, or a feeling, permitted to lodge in the mind that does not mark the face. We cannot by abstaining from action cease from writing: work undone, duty unperformed, responsibility not met, have their record too. Every man is "writing memoirs of himself." The character we trace is immortal. It cannot be folded up as a vesture and laid aside. The dead does not and cannot bury its dead. We cannot revise this book. Only once do we take a step or decline to take it; once taken it cannot be recalled. The past closes up like a crystal wall behind us, transparent but impervious. Further, the mind is a book; every faculty a volume by itself. Imagination is the divinest and most regal. Heaven comes to earth; the plainest house is turned into a palace. This world, cursed as it is by sin, seems a second Eden, and God walks up and down in it. But let the imagination pass under the domain of an impure or sinful passion: it does not cease to work, but its bearing is changed, and what a change! God is gone; the light is put out. The imagination has gone out into foul places. It has been a hewer of wood and drawer of water to Satan. At his bidding the eye sees vile visions, the tongue sings foul songs, the hand handles black deeds. What a spectacle when that book is opened! If imagination is the grander faculty, memory is the more useful. It is the mother of arts and sciences; the parent of history and experience. It is an ocean which, if it swallows up every jewel, will one day bring all to light. A great sea filling, never full, but from which will come one day a perfect resurrection. Latimer tells us that, when examined before Bishop Bonnet, he took special care of what he spoke. He heard a pen at work in the chimney behind the cloth, setting down all, and perhaps more than all, he said. Imagine how we should feel in daily life if told that some one was writing our history, that his reporters were present when we spoke, that his spies watched every movement when we went abroad, that they dogged our footsteps out of doors, sat with us at table, followed us to our profoundest meditations, watched us in an hour of prayer. This imagination is a fact. On the broad page of memory every event of daily life is written and cannot be erased. That book will also one day be opened. Think of Felix and Nero confronted by Paul, Pharaoh by Moses, Ahab by Elijah, the father by the child whom he has permitted to tread the way to ruin; the minister by the people to whom he preached smooth things; the murderer meeting again the victim for whose blood he plotted; the seducer compelled again to face the poor girl whose life he has blighted. The thought becomes more terrible when we remember that conscience is another book. Conscience is a sort of moral memory. It may be said to anticipate as well as to reflect. Nothing escapes its watchful eye. Every sin is duly marked, every corrupt imagination, every wrong principle, indulged in or professed. Every idle word, every unhallowed thought, goes to swell the score. Even if our sins were as frequent as our breathing, the account goes on day after day; pages are filled till the last awful hour has come, when the sinner beholds the magnitude of his transgressions.

III. Retribution is a fact which the preacher must declare, and which the man must ponder. But retribution is not the gospel of Christ. It is to be used for the levelling of the wall that guards the mount, that the King of Glory may enter in. There is another book in the hand of the Judge. It is the Book of Life. When His children are recorded there He gives them a new name. What beautiful names He gives! It is worth becoming a child of the family to get one. For Abram He writes Abraham, the Father of the faithful and Friend of God. For Saul of Tarsus, Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles. Jacob, the supplanter, becomes Israel, Prince with God.

(J. A. Macfadyen, D. D.)

I know not how many books there shall be, nor how ponderous, nor all their titles: but I remark, first, that there will be a book of tears. Have you ever thought, ye afflicted ones, that God is keeping a record of all your woe? There have been grains of corn found in ancient sepulchres, three thousand years old, but they have been brought out and recently planted, and have come up luxuriantly. So the sorrows of earth have in them enough vitality to produce an eternal fruitage. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

2. Again, I remark that there will be a book of unforgiven sins. The iniquities of the righteous will all have been pardoned, and so will not be mentioned. But the sins of the unpardoned will on that day be announced. Sins of the heart: the pride that would not bow to Divine authority, the foolish choice of this world to the next, the impure thought, the unholy imaginations. Sins of the tongue: tattling, base innuendoes, backbiting, profanity, hypercriticism of the conduct of others. Sins of the hands, of the eyes, of the feet, from the smallest omission to the most diabolical commission, all of which shall be recorded in the book from which the Judge shall read. Oh, when it is opened, what cowering! what shame! what hate! what woe! what despair! Drunkenness will answer for all the property wasted, for all the manly natures it imbruted.

3. Again, I remark, there will be a book of privileges. If you have lived twenty years, you have had more than one thousand Sabbaths. If you have lived more than fifty years, you have had more than two thousand Sabbaths. What will be our sensation when those one, two, or three thousand Sabbaths confront us at the judgment. From that book of privilege God will read so many strivings of the spirit, so many sicknesses when we vowed return, so many sacraments, so many death-beds, so many accidents, so many escapes, so many warnings, so many glorious invitations of a crucified Jesus.

4. Again, there will be a book of good deeds. Then we shall hear of the cup of cold water, given in the name of a disciple; the food left at the wayside cabin, the smile of approval, the word of encouragement, the good deed of which made no record, blazing out among the names of those who endowed universities, and civilised nations, and broke shackles, and disenthralled empires, and inspired generations.

5. Again, there will be a book of death. When it is opened, all the evil-doers of earth will tremble for their fate. What a long catalogue of liars, drunkards, thieves, murderers, adulterers, vagabonds, tricksters, oppressors, defrauders, infidels, blasphemers! Glory to the grace that ransomed the chief of sinners.

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

I am assured that there is no such thing as forgetting possible to the mind's thousand circumstances may and will interpose a veil between our present consciousness and the secret inscriptions of the mind, but alike, whether veiled or unveiled, the inscription remains for ever. Just as the stars seem to withdraw from the common light of day, whereas we all know that it is the light which is drawn over them as a veil, and that they are waiting to be revealed when the obscuring daylight shall have withdrawn.

(De Quincey.)

I. IT IS VITAL; hence here called the book of life. And if our names be written in this book of life, then the law of life is written vitally in our souls. The entire destruction of the adversary and all his powers. If I am identified with this book of life, I am brought to where the adversary, as far as I am concerned, and all his powers, are brought to nought.

II. This book is not only vital but also EXEMPTIONAL. It is exemptional in a threefold respect.

1. First, in exempting us from the wrath to come; such shall not be cast into the lake of fire. This globe shall be burned; but what care I for that? I have a new earth.

2. As this book of life exempts from the wrath to come, so it exempts us from the fear of man.

3. Third, it is exemptional also from delusion; cannot deceive these people.

III. But, lastly, this book of life is ADMISSIONAL. If I am identified thus with the gospel, if I am an able servant of the new covenant, if I overcome the fear of man, if I am delivered from delusion, and am thus called, and chosen, and faithful, then I shall be admitted into this city. "There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth"; and we can enter there without defilement only by the perfection that is in Christ; "nor worketh abomination"; and we can enter free from abomination only by the same thing, the completeness that is in Christ; "or maketh a lie"; and we can enter there only by the truth; "but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."

(James Wells.)

Tamerlane had always by him a catalogue of his best servants, and their good deserts, which he daily perused.

(J. Trapp.)

The dead were Judged... according to their works
It belongs to man, in which he would seem to differ essentially from the inferior animals, to make himself and his own thoughts an object of thought; not only to know what he is doing, but to be able to review his conduct and compare it with an ideal standard of expediency and right; in one word, to call himself to account. There is, therefore, an important sense in which the whole of human life is one continued Day of Judgment. Moreover, the self-judgment here referred to is understood and felt to be of an authority and sanction higher than that of man. We cannot shake off the conviction that there is a Divine, as well as human, element in conscience. It is the voice of God speaking to us through the human faculties, ordained by Him for that purpose. Who can believe that God has so made us, that we cannot help judging ourselves by the law o! right, without believing, at the same time, that He intended us to be judged, and rewarded or punished according to that law? On looking round, however, we see that this law is very far from being universally applied, or fully carried out in the present life. If there is ever to be a perfectly righteous retribution, we must look for it beyond the grave. By such natural intimations as these, almost every people, with or without the aid of revelation, have been led to entertain, with more or less distinctness and confidence, the presentiment of "a judgment to come." Even in Homer there are unmistakable traces of a popular belief in a future state of existence, where the fate of the individual is made to turn, more or less, on his previous character, and especially on his conduct towards the gods. The same is also laid down as a practical doctrine of great moment by the best among the pagan philosophers and moralists; and sometimes, as in the apologue of Erus the Pamphylian, given in Plato's Republic, in language bearing striking resemblance to that used four hundred years afterwards in the New Testament. A brave man, having fallen in battle, was permitted to return to the earth on the twelfth day, in order to warn the living by a revelation of what he had seen. He had seen the dead arraigned, and when the judges, to borrow the words of the apologue, "gave judgment, they commanded the just to go on the right hand, and upwards through the heaven, having fitted marks on the front of those that had been judged; but the unjust they commanded to the left, and downwards, and these likewise had behind them marks of all that they had done." From the pagans we pass to the Jews, among whom Christianity arose. Moses, their great Lawgiver, aimed to establish what is called a theocracy, that is government of God upon earth, in which perfect righteousness was to be fulfilled. Of course, in such a state of things, as they had a present Divine judgment, there was the less occasion to appeal to a future Divine judgment. Be this, however, as it may, there can be no doubt that in the time of our Lord the great body of the Jewish people had become believers in the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments. Accordingly, the doctrine of a future state of retribution cannot be accounted a Christian doctrine in the sense of being first taught in Christianity. It has given us new evidence of the facts in the case; it has enabled us to see these facts in new lights, and under new aspects and relations: so that the old doctrine, in itself considered, has become substantially a new doctrine. This being the case, it remains for me to speak of what may properly be considered as peculiar and original in the Christian doctrine of the judgment to come. On the whole, the most natural and Christian view would seem to be, that, with every individual, as soon as this life ends the next life begins. As regards everything pertaining to the form and manner — or, so to speak, the outward appearance — of the invisible world, what most distinguishes Christianity when compared with other and false religions, is, not the fulness of the information it conveys, but its discreet and solemn reserve. One thing, however, is put beyond question — happiness to the good, misery to the bad; that is, all that can give moral effect to the revelation: not a word, not a syllable, either to stimulate or gratify an idle and impertinent curiosity. Nowhere but in Christianity will you find it distinctly laid down, as of Divine authority, that every man will be judged at last by what he has himself done, whether it be good or bad. Let us now go one step further, and ascertain, if we can, precisely what is meant when it is said that men are to be judged "according to their deeds." If, therefore, there is one thing clearer than any other in Christian ethics, it is this — that every man is to stand or fall according to what he is in himself; — not by what he does, except in so far as it expresses what he really is. Acts of worship in a hypocrite, munificent gifts merely for the name of it, solemn make-beliefs of the would-be worshipper of God and the world at the same time, go for nothing. The question continually returns, what is man in himself? There is no occasion for the nice balancing of accounts, item by item, referred to above; neither is there any occasion for a miraculous memory to enable us to call to mind every thought we have indulged, every word we have uttered, and every action we have performed. It will be enough, if we know in what moral and spiritual state all these have left us; and to know this it will be enough, if we are made conscious of what we are. It may be said, that the guilty soul will still be in the hands of a compassionate God; and this is true. Beware, however, of making compassion in God what it often is in man — a mere tenderness, I had almost said a mere weakness. Nor is this all. We must not expect in the next world what is incompatible with its nature and purpose. We are placed here to make a beginning. Are you sure it will be so in the world to come? Why first a world of probation and then a world of retribution, if after all both are to be equally and alike probationary? Let us not run risks, where the error, if it be one, is irretrievable, and the stake infinite.

(James Walker.)

I. There exists A NATURAL SENSE OF EQUITY IN THE MIND, which dictates, that recompense in futurity will be apportioned according to our knowledge or ignorance of our duty, to our exemption from temptations, or the magnitude of our dangers; — that flagrant offences ought to be more severely punished than smaller errors; great excellences more honoured than inferior good qualities; and, in short, that the number of good or bad deeds, as well as their nature, will be estimated in our great account. And these notions respecting the Divine administration appear to be sanctioned by striking facts. In the economy of the present world, it is most clearly perceived to be a general law of the Divine Providence, that different degrees of iniquity shall produce, as their natural consequences, nearly proportionate measures of suffering. Does not the dissipated character, even after his reformation, experience the result of the waste he has made, in fortune, in health, in reputation, or in time? Is he not often deeply stung by self-reproach on account of the past, though he feels humbly assured that, through Christ, it is forgiven?

II. To these surmises of reason, let us annex the surer information of SCRIPTURE. It is enjoined (Deuteronomy 25:2.) that, "if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to be beaten according to his fault by a certain number," namely, of stripes: — in allusion to which passage our Saviour declares (Luke 12:47, 48). Again, when our Lord declared to the cities of Galilee, "It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon," etc., it is obvious that in this very phrase more tolerable, the same diversity of future allotment is implied — the same balance of disobedience and suffering (James 3:1).

III. An assent to this article of belief is beset with several DANGERS, against which it is of the utmost moment that a serious caution should be offered.

1. Beware, in admitting this delicate doctrine, of considering works as in themselves worth anything — as in the smallest degree establishing a right to remuneration in the sight of a pure God. What hast thou that thou didst not receive? and, after ye have done all, say, we are unprofitable servants.

2. Another danger is that of our resting satisfied with inferior degrees of obedience. "'Tis well: — we are secure of obtaining some place in heaven; — we may with safety, therefore, now leave something undone, or not trouble ourselves about higher attainments." But chiefly be it remembered, as the most serious truth, that though the gospel of Christ offers happiness to the penitent, no portion of that happiness can be expected by the presumptuous transgressor, let him offend but even in one point.

3. A mercenary service, in opposition to that holiness which results from the love of God, is likewise to be apprehended as a perversion of the doctrine before us.

(J. Grant, M. A.)

The sea gave up the dead which were in it
I. This great doctrine, THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY, seems yet better fitted than the kindred truth of the immortality of the soul, to make a powerful impression on the mind of man, when receiving the gospel for the first time. The heathen may have heard of the existence after death of the immaterial spirit within him; but he thinks of that principle as something impalpable and unearthly, that he has never yet seen, and that is scarce the same with himself. Talk to him of the inward man of the soul, and he listens as if you spoke of a stranger. But bring your statements home to the outward man of his body, and he feels that it is he himself who is to be happy or to be wretched in that eternity of which you tell him. Hence a living missionary, in his first religious instructions to the king of a heathen tribe in South Africa, found him indifferent and callous to all his statements of the gospel, until this truth was announced. It aroused in the barbarian chief the wildest emotions, and excited an undisguised alarm. He had been a warrior, and had lifted up his spear against multitudes slain in battle. He asked, in amazement, if these his foes should all live. And the assurance that they should arise filled him with perplexity and dismay, ouch as he could not conceal. He could not abide the thought. A long slumbering conscience had been pierced through all its coverings.

II. THE SEA WILL BE FOUND THICKLY PEOPLED WITH THE MORTAL REMAINS OF MANKIND. In the earlier ages of the world, when the relations of the various nations to each other were generally those of bitter hostility, and the ties of a common brotherhood were little felt, the sea, in consequence of their comparative ignorance of navigation, served as a barrier, parting the tribes of opposite shores, who might else have met only for mutual slaughter, ending in extermination. Now that a more peaceful spirit prevails, the sea, which once served to preserve, by dividing the nations, has, in the progress of art and discovery, become the channel of easier intercourse and the medium of uniting the nations. It is the great highway of traffic, a highway on which the builder cannot encroach, and no monarch possesses the power of closing the path or engrossing the travel. Thus continually traversed, the ocean has become, to many of its adventurous voyagers, the place of burial. But it has been also the scene of battle, as well as the highway of commerce. Upon it have been decided many of those conflicts which determined the dynasty or the race to whom for a time should be committed the empire of the world. All these have served to gorge the deep with the carcases of men. It has had, again, its shipwrecks. Though man may talk of his power to bridle the elements, and of the triumphs of art compelling all nature to do his work, yet there are scenes on the sea in which he feels his proper impotence. The sea, then, has its dead.


1. There must be, then, in this resurrection from the sea, much to awaken feeling in the others of the risen dead, from this, if from no other cause: these, the dead of the sea, will be the kindred and near connections of those who died upon the land. Among those whom the waters shall in that day have restored, will be some who quitted home expecting a speedy return, and for whose coming attached kindred and friends looked long, but looked in vain. The exact mode, and scene, and hour of their death have remained until that day unknown to the rest of mankind. And can it be without feeling that these will be seen again by those who loved them, and who through weary years longed for their return, still feeding "the hope that keeps alive despair"? The dead of ocean will be the children and pupils, again, of the dead of the land. Their moral character may have been formed, and their eternal interests affected, less by their later associates on the deep than by the earlier instructions they received on shore.

2. Let it be remembered, again, that a very large proportion of those who have thus perished on the ocean will appear to have perished in the service of the landsman. Some in voyages of discovery, despatched on a mission to enlarge the bounds of human knowledge, or to discover new routes for commercial enterprise, and new marts for traffic. Thus perished the French navigator La Perouse, whose fate was to the men of the lash generation so long the occasion of anxious speculation. Still greater numbers have perished in the service of commerce. As a people we are under special obligations to the art and enterprise of the navigator. We are a nation of emigrants. The land we occupy was discovered and colonised by the aid of the mariner. The seaman has, then, been employed in our service. And as far as he was our servant doing our work, we were bound to care for his well-being; and if he perished in our service, it was surely our duty to inquire whether he perished in any degree by our fault.

3. Others of those buried in the waters have lost their lives in defence of those upon the shore. Can a nation claim the praise of common honesty or gratitude, who neglects the moral and spiritual interests of these their defenders?

4. Let us reflect, also, on the fact, that many of those who have perished on the waters will be found to have perished through the neglect of those living on shore. We allude not merely to negligence in providing the necessary helps for the navigator. May there not be other classes of neglect equally or yet more fatal? The parent who has neglected to govern and instruct his child, until that child, impatient of all restraint, rushes away to the sea as a last refuge, and there sinks, a victim to the sailor's sufferings or the sailor's vices, can scarce meet with composure that child in the day when the sea gives up its dead. Or if, as a community, or as churches, we shut our eyes to the miseries of the sick and friendless seaman, or to the vices and oppressions by which he is often ruined for time and eternity, shall we be clear in the day when inquisition is made for blood? No, unless the Church does her full duty, or, in other words, reaches in her efforts the measure of her full ability, for the spiritual benefit of the seaman, her neglect must be chargeable upon her.

5. Many of the dead of the sea will be found to have been victims to the sins of those upon shore. Those who have perished in unjust wars waged upon that element, will they have no quarrel of blood against the rulers that sent them forth? The statesmen, the blunders or the crimes of whose policy the waters have long concealed, must one day face those who have been slaughtered by their recklessness. And so it may be said of every other form of wickedness, of which those that sail in our ships are rendered the instruments or the victims. The keeper of the dram-shop, or the brothel, where the sailor is taught to forget God and harden himself in iniquity, will not find it a light thing, in that great day of retribution, to encounter those whom he made his prey. The literature of the shore will be called to account for its influence on the character and well-being of the seaman. The song-writer, who, perhaps, a hungry and unprincipled scribbler, penned his doggrel lines in some garret, little careful except as to the compensation he should earn, the dirty pence that were to pay for his rhymes, will one day be made to answer for the influence that went forth from him to those who shouted his verses in the night watch, on the far sea, or perchance upon some heathen shore. The infidel, who may have sat in elegant and lettered ease, preparing his attacks upon the Bible and the Saviour, thought little, probably, but of the fame and influence he should win upon the shore. But the seeds of death which he scattered may have been wafted whither he never thought to trace them. And in that day of retribution he may be made to lament his own influence on the rude seaman whom he has hardened in blasphemy and impiety, and who has sported with objections derived by him at the second hand or third hand from such writers, whilst he figured amongst his illiterate and admiring companions as the tarred Voltaire or Paine of the forecastle and the round top, the merriest and boldest scoffer of the crew. Lessons:

1. The dead shall rise, all shall rise, and together. From the land and from the sea, wherever the hand of violence or the rage of the elements have scattered human dust, shall it be reclaimed. And we rise to give account. Out of Christ, judgment will be damnation.

2. If the reappearance from the seas of the sinner who perished in his sins be a thought full of terror, is there not, on the other hand, joy in the anticipation of greeting those who have fallen asleep in Christ, but whose bones found no rest beneath the clods of the valley, and whose remains have been reserved under the waters until that day, while, over their undistinguished resting-place, old ocean with all its billows has for centuries pealed its stormy anthem?

3. This community especially owes a debt to that class of men who go down to the sea in ships, and do business in the great waters.

4. It is, again, by no means the policy of the Church to overlook so influential a class as is that of our seafaring brethren. They are in the path of our missionaries to the heathen. If converted, they might be amongst their most efficient coadjutors, as, whilst unconverted, they are among the most embarrassing hindrances the missionary must encounter.

5. While humbled in the review of her past negligence, and in the sense of present deficiencies, as to her labours for the seaman, the Church has yet cause for devout thankfulness in the much that has recently been done for the souls of those who go down to the sea in ships, and in the perceptible change that has already been wrought in the character of this long-neglected class of our fellow-citizens and fellow-immortals.

6. In that day, when earth and sea shall meet heaven in the judgment, where do you propose to stand? Among the saved, or the lost — the holy, or the sinful — at the right hand of the Judge, or at His left?

(W. R. Williams, D. D.)

I. THE ELEMENTS INTO WHICH THE DEAD ARE DISSOLVED DO ONLY RECEIVE THEM INTO SAFE CUSTODY. The matter out of which we are made doth never perish; the foundation remains, though it put on a thousand shapes and figures. The quantity and quality indeed of many men's bodies is lost, by various transmutations, in the several elements through which they pass after their dissolution: yet for all this, the substance is kept entire, and wholly incapable of being destroyed.

II. THESE ELEMENTS ARE, AT THE COMMAND OF THE ALMIGHTY, TO GIVE UP THOSE PLEDGES WHICH THEY RECEIVE. The fish that swallowed up Jonah, and afterwards threw him up again upon the dry land, when God by His will appointed it so to do, was not more obedient to that will than each element shall be in giving up the dead upon the authority of His command.

1. The earth, and the sea, and other quarters of the world to which they retire, are in every point known to God. Nor is He ignorant of the means which are proper to unite them, how far soever they may be scattered, or how much soever confounded.

2. Another argument why the dead should be given up at His word is, because the matter whereof they were composed lies subject to Him, and He can new-mould and repair it as He pleaseth. What work can be too hard for Him that is above all resistance whatsoever? Could He do the greater work in making us that which we were not, and shall we doubt of His ability in the less, which is refashioning us to what we were? But it may be asked, What necessity is there for such a general delivery of the dead? Cannot the sea and the land bury us, as it does other creatures, who are dissolved into those elements and perish? Why must we be reposed in them, as in a treasury; preserved for a time, in order to be taken out or given up again? At present I would only observe, that the necessity of this dispensation will appear from the consideration of God, of Christ, and of mankind.(1) Of God, who is necessarily just; and therefore is in justice concerned in a general giving up of the dead to Him, that so the whole man may acknowledge the righteousness and equity of His government.(2) The necessity of the rising again will appear by a consideration of Christ, who has merited lordship and dominion over us. Now the honour of that lordship would cease, except the dead were given up to be subject to His rule.(3) The consideration of mankind evinces the necessity of this dispensation, who are subject to His laws, and qualified with natures to receive wages. These are divided into good and bad, each of which have need of a resurrection. The good, that so they may silence their false accusers and clear their innocence to the world, and experimentally find by what they reap that their labour hath not been in vain in the Lord. The bad, that they may receive a due recompense of their deeds. .Further, it is to be considered, that although the personal acts of sin in the wicked are transient, and die with the committers; yet the poison and infection of those acts long continues. To conclude. You hear there is no retreat, no sanctuary for your bodies to lodge in, neither in sea, nor in land, nor fire, nor air, but they will be everywhere exposed to the all-seeing eye of God, and ready to be given up at His command.

(James Roe, M. A.)

Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire
It is of His two chief enemies that God here speaks — "death and the grave," or "place of the dead." This is not the first time, nor the only place, in which they are thus classed together. There is a striking series of passages, running through all Scripture, in which they are named as allies — fellow-workers in the perpetration of one great deed of darkness from the beginning. Often are death and the grave in the lips of Job. David speaks of them (Psalm 6:5). Solomon uses them in figure (Song of Solomon 8:6). Hezekiah refers to them (Isaiah 38:18). Isaiah mentions them in their connection with Messiah (Isaiah 53:9). Hosea proclaims their awful fellowship in evil (Hosea 13:14). Paul takes up the language of the old prophets (1 Corinthians 15:55). And then, as the summing up of the whole, we have these strange words of the text. This is the end of that death.power which was let loose in paradise, and which has continued exercise dominion upon earth through these two channels. The reign has been long and sad; it has been one of dissolution, and blight, and terror; but it ends at last. Death has been the sword of law for ages; but when it has done its work on earth, God takes this sword, red with the blood of millions, snaps it in pieces before the universe, and casts its fragments into the flame, in the day of the great winding-up, in token that never again shall it be needed, either on earth or throughout the universe. The grave has been the chain and the prison-house of justice; but when its purpose is served, and justice has got all its own in the heaven of the saved and the hell of the lost, God gathers up each link of the chain and flings them into the lake of fire upon the head of the great potentate of evil; He razes the dungeon to its foundation, and buries its ruins in a grave like that of Sodom, the lake of the everlasting burnings. Death and the grave were east into the lake of fire.

I. GOD ABHORS DEATH. It is to Him even more unlovable than it is to us. He has set limits to its power; He has made it to His saints the very gate of heaven — for blessed are the dead that die in the Lord; He has proclaimed resurrection and interruption. But still, with all these abatements, He loves it not, nor is reconciled to it in one act or aspect. It is, in His eyes, even more than in ours, an enemy, a destroyer, a demon, a criminal, a robber. So thoroughly does He loathe it, that in order to make His displeasure known, He reserves it to the last for doom; He sets it apart for a great outstanding condemnation, and then casts it into the lake of fire.


1. It is the ally of sin (Romans 5:12). Partners in evil, sin and death have held dark fellowship together from the beginning, the one reflecting and augmenting the odiousness of the other; like night and storm, each in itself terrible, but more terrible as companions in havoc.

2. It is Satan's tool. To inflict disease, but not to heal; to wound, but not to bind up; to kill, but not to make alive — these are the works of the devil which God abhors, and which the Son of God came to destroy.

3. It is the undoing of His work. God did not mean creation to crumble down or evaporate. But death has seized it. Man's body and man's earth are falling to pieces, undermined by some universal solvent; the beauty, and the order, and the power giving way before the invader. The sculptor does not love the hand that spoils his statue, nor the mother the fever that preys upon her darling; so God has no pleasure in that enemy that has been ruining the work of His hands.

4. It has been the source of earth's pain and sorrow. Pain is the messenger of disease, and disease is the touch of death's finger; and with disease and death what an amount of sorrow has poured in upon our world!

5. It has laid hands on His saints. Though He permitted Herod, and Pilate, and Nero, and the kings of the earth, to persecute His Church, He did not thereby indicate indifference to the wrong, far less sympathy with the wrong-doer. He treasures up wrath against the persecutor; He will judge and avenge the blood of His own. So will He take vengeance on the last enemy,

6. It laid hands upon His Son. Death smote the Prince of life, and the grave imprisoned Him. This was treason of the darkest kind, the wrong of wrongs, perpetrated against the highest in the universe, God's incarnate Son. And shall not God visit for this? Shall not His soul be avenged on such a destroyer for such a crime?

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

Is this, then, the end of all the projects and all the acts of the boastful sinner — man? Alas I who, then, art thou, that repliest against Omnipotence? Who art thou, that thinkest God is to be mocked?

I. WHEN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT SHALL COME, AND HOW LONG IT SHALL LAST, REVELATION HAS NOT DISCLOSED. It is called the day of judgment: but in Scripture a day is not always meant to express that particular portion of time which we affix to the term; but a season. But however long or however short a period the tremendous judgment of the world will occupy, we know assuredly that at its conclusion a solemn separation will be made of those who have served God, from those who have served Him not. The place to which the latter will be consigned is described in almost every term expressive of sorrow and pain. It is called a furnace of fire, the bottomless pit, whence shall be seen ascending the smoke of the torments of the damned. Scripture warns us in the plainest terms, that it is not merely the loss of the happiness which God had offered that the condemned sinner then shall suffer, but some positive and exquisite anguish and torment. "They shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation." "They shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." "Their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched." "They shall go away into everlasting punishment."


1. The chief one — and, indeed, what almost comprises all the rest — is that it seems hardly consistent with the justice of God to inflict eternal punishment for a temporal sin. The notion seems to arise from the want of a due consideration of what is sin. If a man considers only one or two individual acts of his own wickedness, there may appear between them, taken abstractedly, and eternal punishment, a great disproportion. But he omits to consider what the effect of those few acts is, not only on his own soul, but on the world in which he lives. But independently of the effect of sin on others, you ought not to forget, however trifling your sin may appear, what is the nature of a sinful soul in the pure sight of God! There is another consideration. Although eternal punishment is denounced against what are termed temporal sins, yet it is only on sins unrepented of. God has shown you how you may flee from the wrath to come. He has declared how you may be redeemed from the influence and the curse of sin. The degree of your punishment will certainly be proportioned to your sins, for the Judge of all the earth will do right. But its duration seems to be fixed for eternity by the immutable laws of Providence, because no revealed means remain after death for cleansing your soul from its pollution. There is yet one other consideration. When a man dies without repentance and change of heart, after a life of habitual neglect of heaven, it is but reasonable to believe that had his life been prolonged, and the power of indulging in sin remained, he would have continued a sinner as long as he continued to exist. It is said, I know, that punishments cannot be meant to be final and eternal, because they are intended to reclaim, either by their effect on the sinner himself, or as examples to others. The punishments of this world are so. But lest we should presume, and think these His only judgments, He has given us proofs sufficient that in the ordinances of His providence there are such things as final punishments. Every one knows that the whole world was once exterminated except one family, and that such extermination was for its sins. We are hereby taught that punishment is not always intended for the reformation of the sinner.

2. We will now consider those observations which are drawn against the doctrine from Scripture itself.(1) We are reminded, then, that the words which are made use of to imply what we consider to be a never-ceasing duration are often applied in Scripture to other matters, which are known to have an end, and therefore that they mean not strictly and properly eternity, but only a long and undefined succession of ages. It is perfectly true that the words, "eternal," "everlasting," and "for ever," are applied to some things which are known to have an end: but we see them also applied to those things which we know have no end; and, above all, the expressions in question concerning the duration of punishments are those which are applied to show the true and proper eternity of the Supreme Being Himself. To reconcile this apparent inconsistency, however, is not very difficult. These words, "eternal," "everlasting," and the like, seem always meant to indicate the longest expressible existence of the thing, or the being, to which they are applied.(2) It is said that the doctrine of eternal punishments militates against the known mercy of God and the general spirit of the gospel, which is a scheme of salvation. It is maintained that as it is impossible for any creature to live in eternal torments, though some may persist for a longer, some for a shorter, period, all in the end must be subdued, and that a universal restoration will crown the solemn scene: that, as the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost, His coming would be defeated if the greater part were lost for ever; that when it is said He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet, and that the last enemy, which shall be destroyed, is death — the death here intended is the second death — and that when this penal fire shall have accomplished in purpose, it, too, shall be extinguished; that then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory." These are contemplations, full indeed of awfulness, but full of holy joy, and agreeing, as they do, with the hopes of frail and sinful man, are too readily, perhaps, indulged by him as founded on irrefragable truth. Whatever meaning your own opinion may affix to the Scriptural expressions concerning the duration of the sinner's woes, remember one truth, viz., that no limit is there affixed to them; that, allowing the terms to mean only a succession of ages upon ages, yet that no period is mentioned when such succession shall end. On what is to take place after the day of judgment Scripture seems purposely silent.

(G. Matthew, M.A.)

It is a pathetic tale to tell, but I do not vouch for its absolute truth, that once a famous composer wrote a great anthem to be sung at a festival. He sought to picture the scenes of the final judgment, and introduced a strain of music representing the solemn lamentations of the lost. But no singer was found willing to take such a part. So the wailings and woes were omitted; and when the passage was reached, the leader simply beat the time in silence till the awful chasm was passed, and the musicians took up gloriously the strains of celestial unison lying on the other side of it, "The shout of them that triumph and the song of them who feast."

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

In a sermon preached by the Rev. J. H. Jowett, M.A., he pointed out the different aspects from which the world and Christ viewed society. The world draws a horizontal line of division, or rather two lines, which mark off humanity into three sections, the upper, middle, and lower classes. Christ draws a vertical line throughout the whole scale, dividing society into two parts, those on the right hand and those on the left; the sheep and the goats.

Gog, John, Magog
Accordance, Conduct, Dead, Death, Deeds, Delivered, Hades, Hell, Judged, Works, Yielded
1. Satan bound for a thousand years.
6. The first resurrection;
7. Satan let loose again.
8. Gog and Magog.
10. The demons cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
11. The last and general resurrection.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Revelation 20:13

     5493   retribution
     9023   death, unbelievers

Revelation 20:1-15

     9155   millennium

Revelation 20:7-15

     9210   judgment, God's

Revelation 20:10-15

     1310   God, as judge

Revelation 20:11-13

     9230   judgment seat

Revelation 20:11-15

     5006   human race, destiny
     6125   condemnation, divine
     9240   last judgment

Revelation 20:12-13

     1075   God, justice of
     9110   after-life

Revelation 20:12-15

     9420   book of life

Revelation 20:13-14

     4127   Satan, defeat of
     4906   abolition
     5288   dead, the
     9530   Hades

"But if the Spirit of Him that Raised up Jesus from the Dead Dwell in You, He that Raised up Christ from the Dead, Shall Also
Rom. viii. 11.--"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." As there is a twofold death,--the death of the soul, and the death of the body--so there is a double resurrection, the resurrection of the soul from the power of sin, and the resurrection of the body from the grave. As the first death is that which is spiritual, then that which is bodily, so
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Profanations of Good and Truth
I. Goods and Truths and Their Opposites The Divine good that goes forth from the Lord is united with His Divine truth, as heat from the sun is with light in the time of spring. But angels, who are recipients of the Divine good and Divine truth going forth from the Lord, are distinguished as celestial and spiritual. Those who receive more of the Lord's Divine good than of His Divine truth are called celestial angels; because these constitute the kingdom of the Lord that is called the celestial kingdom.
Emanuel Swedenborg—Spiritual Life and the Word of God

The Life of the Blessed in Heaven.
Having examined the glorious gifts with which the risen body is clothed, and seen that it perfects the soul in all her operations; understanding, moreover, that the glorified senses are to contribute their share to the happiness of man--we shall now consider the happy life of the blessed in heaven, including the resurrection. But, remember, it is not a new life that is now to occupy our thoughts. It is a continuation of the same life that was begun the moment the vision of God flashed upon the soul.
F. J. Boudreaux—The Happiness of Heaven

An Awful Contrast
"Then did they spit in his face."--Matthew 26:67. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away."--Revelation 20:11. GUIDED BY OUR TEXT in Matthew's Gospel, let us first go in thought to the palace of Caiaphas the high priest, and there let us, in deepest sorrow, realize the meaning of these terrible words: "Then did they spit in his face." There is more of deep and awful thunder in them than in the bolt that bursts overhead, there is
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

The Seventh vision "In Heaven"
H^7. Chap. xix. 1-16. The final heavenly Utterances and Actions. We now come to the last of the seven Visions seen "in Heaven," which is the subject of chap. xix. 1-16, giving us the final heavenly Utterances and Actions which lead up to, explain, and introduce the five concluding judgments which close up the things of Time, and pass on to what we call the Eternal State. This last Vision "in Heaven" is divided into two parts, each having its own independent construction. The first contains the words
E.W. Bullinger—Commentary on Revelation

The Sea of Sodom
The bounds of Judea, on both sides, are the sea; the western bound is the Mediterranean,--the eastern, the Dead sea, or the sea of Sodom. This the Jewish writers every where call, which you may not so properly interpret here, "the salt sea," as "the bituminous sea." In which sense word for word, "Sodom's salt," but properly "Sodom's bitumen," doth very frequently occur among them. The use of it was in the holy incense. They mingled 'bitumen,' 'the amber of Jordan,' and [an herb known to few], with
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

A Few Sighs from Hell;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Second
refers to Genesis iii., the promise being "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life." "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death" (ii. 10, 11). The reference is to Genesis iii., where death first enters. But the promise goes beyond this; for it relates not merely to the death which came in with sin, but to the "second death," which is revealed in Rev. xx. 14; xxi. 8.
E.W. Bullinger—Commentary on Revelation

The Lapse of Time.
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."--Eccles. ix. 10. Solomon's advice that we should do whatever our hand findeth to do with our might, naturally directs our thoughts to that great work in which all others are included, which will outlive all other works, and for which alone we really are placed here below--the salvation of our souls. And the consideration of this great work,
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

Jesus Heals Two Gergesene Demoniacs.
(Gergesa, Now Called Khersa.) ^A Matt. VIII. 28-34; IX. 1; ^B Mark V. 1-21; ^C Luke VIII. 26-40. ^b 1 And they came to the other side of the sea [They left in the "even," an elastic expression. If they left in the middle of the afternoon and were driven forward by the storm, they would have reached the far shore several hours before dark], ^c 26 And they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is over against Galilee. ^a 28 And when he was come into the country of the Gadarenes. ^c 27 And
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The General Resurrection
Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. A n object, great in itself, and which we know to be so, will appear small to us, if we view it from a distance. The stars, for example, in our view, are but as little specks
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Appendix xix. On Eternal Punishment, According to the Rabbis and the New Testament
THE Parables of the Ten Virgins' and of the Unfaithful Servant' close with a Discourse on the Last Things,' the final Judgment, and the fate of those Christ's Righ Hand and at His Left (St. Matt. xxv. 31-46). This final Judgment by our Lord forms a fundamental article in the Creed of the Church. It is the Christ Who comes, accompanied by the Angelic Host, and sits down on the throne of His Glory, when all nations are gathered before Him. Then the final separation is made, and joy or sorrow awarded
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Seventh (And Last) vision "On Earth"
E^7, xix. 17&151xx. 15. THE FINAL FIVE JUDGMENTS. We must get a complete view of these in order to embrace them all and view them as a whole. The Structure shows their true sequence: E^7., xix. 17-- 15. The Seventh (and Last) Vision "on Earth." E^7 A^1 xix. 17-21. MEN. The Judgment of the Beast and the False Prophet. B^1 xx. 1-3. SATAN. The Judgment of Satan (Before the Millennium). A^2 xx. 4-6. MEN. The Judgment of the overcomers. The "rest of the dead" left for Judgment. B^2 xx. 7-10.
E.W. Bullinger—Commentary on Revelation

"Now the End of the Commandment is Charity Out of a Pure Heart, and a Good Conscience, and Faith Unfeigned. "
[It is extremely probable that this was one of the probationary discourses which the author delivered before the Presbytery of Glasgow, previous to his ordination. The following is an extract from the Record of that Presbytery: "Dec. 5, 1649. The qlk daye Mr. Hew Binnen made his popular sermon 1 Tim. i. ver. 5 'The end of ye commandment is charity.'--Ordaines Mr. Hew Binnen to handle his controversie this day fifteen dayes, De satisfactione Christi."--Ed.] 1 Tim. ii. 5.--"Now the end of the commandment
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Second Coming of Christ.
^A Matt. XXIV. 29-51; ^B Mark XIII. 24-37; ^C Luke XXI. 25-36. ^b 24 But in those days, ^a immediately after the { ^b that} ^a tribulation of those days. [Since the coming of Christ did not follow close upon the destruction of Jerusalem, the word "immediately" used by Matthew is somewhat puzzling. There are, however, three ways in which it may be explained: 1. That Jesus reckons the time after his own divine, and not after our human, fashion. Viewing the word in this light, the passage at II. Pet.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope
In 2 Timothy, 3:16, Paul declares: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" but there are some people who tell us when we take up prophecy that it is all very well to be believed, but that there is no use in one trying to understand it; these future events are things that the church does not agree about, and it is better to let them alone, and deal only with those prophecies which have already been
Dwight L. Moody—That Gospel Sermon on the Blessed Hope

Sanctions of Moral Law, Natural and Governmental.
In the discussion of this subject, I shall show-- I. What constitute the sanctions of law. 1. The sanctions of law are the motives to obedience, the natural and the governmental consequences or results of obedience and of disobedience. 2. They are remuneratory, that is, they promise reward to obedience. 3. They are vindicatory, that is, they threaten the disobedient with punishment. 4. They are natural, that is, happiness is to some extent naturally connected with, and the necessary consequence of,
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

The Saints' Privilege and Profit;
OR, THE THRONE OF GRACE ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. The churches of Christ are very much indebted to the Rev. Charles Doe, for the preservation and publishing of this treatise. It formed one of the ten excellent manuscripts left by Bunyan at his decease, prepared for the press. Having treated on the nature of prayer in his searching work on 'praying with the spirit and with the understanding also,' in which he proves from the sacred scriptures that prayer cannot be merely read or said, but must
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness.
^A Matt. IV. 1-11; ^B Mark I. 12, 13; ^C Luke IV. 1-13. ^c 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, ^b 12 And straightway the Spirit driveth him forth ^c and ^a 1 Then [Just after his baptism, with the glow of the descended Spirit still upon him, and the commending voice of the Father still ringing in his ears, Jesus is rushed into the suffering of temptation. Thus abrupt and violent are the changes of life. The spiritually exalted may expect these sharp contrasts. After being
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Resurrection
'Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.' John 5:58, 29. Q-38: WHAT BENEFITS DO BELIEVERS RECEIVE FROM CHRIST AT THE RESURRECTION? A: At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgement, and made perfectly blessed in the
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Word
The third way to escape the wrath and curse of God, and obtain the benefit of redemption by Christ, is the diligent use of ordinances, in particular, the word, sacraments, and prayer.' I begin with the best of these ordinances. The word . . . which effectually worketh in you that believe.' 1 Thess 2:13. What is meant by the word's working effectually? The word of God is said to work effectually when it has the good effect upon us for which it was appointed by God; when it works powerful illumination
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Revelation 20:13 NIV
Revelation 20:13 NLT
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