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THE PERSON AND CHARACTER OF THE
JUDGE OF THE WORLD.
JOHN V. 27.
AND HATH GIVEN HIM AUTHORITY TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT ALSO,
BECAUSE HE IS THE SON OF MAN.
HE certainty of a future judgment was the subject of discourse in the morning. From the words now read, our meditations are turned upon the person and character of the Judge of the world, his authority, and the reason of his appointment to this high office.
First, Of his person and cþaracter.
From the moral perfections of God and his promiscuous dispensations in this world, we justly infer an after state and judgment : But that he will judge by the ministry of another is a truth which could never have been conceived, had not God declared it. The ransom which God hath provided for finners transcends our thoughts; connected with this is the doctrine that our Ransomer shall be our Judge. What we know of his person, character and office is from revelation, and in no respect from any other source. “ No man knoweth the Son, but the Father ; neither “ knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he “ to whom the Son will reveal him.” He had “ a glory with the Father before the world
His goings forth have been from everlasting. “ By him all things were created and confift.” He was made flesh; and hath therefore the appellations, the Son of man, the Son of God. Being found in fashion
as a man, he became obedient unto the death of the cross, that by this act of “ obedience, many might be « made righteous—that through death he might de< ftroy him that had the power of death.” He was declared, by his resurrection, to be the Son of God with power. Hereby he brought hife and immortality to light.
Perfect knowledge and rectitude are qualities effential to a perfect decision on the characters of moral agents. The knowledge of hearts is therefore necessary. For the habitual frame of the heart conftitutes the moral character. "I the Lord search the heart, I try the
reins, even to give to every one according to his « ways”-implying that the frame of the heart must be known in order to an impartial judgment. The Son of man expressly claims this prerogative. “I am she who searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will “ give unto every one of you according to your e works. He “ 'needeth not that any should testify «. of man; for he knoweth what is in man." He declared the moft private reasonings and the unuttered thoughts of men, the most fecret parts of their character and circumftances of their lives. " Neither is " there any creature that is not manifest in his fight. " Lord, thou knoweft all things." The fins of fome will not be brought to light till the Son of man fhall be revealed from heaven. And there
And there are many excellent characters, of whom the world is not worthy, who are suspected, through prejudice or misrepresentation—who are the objects of envy and hatred.Their “ righteousness shall be brought forth as the
light, and their judgment as the noon-day.”
The rectitude of the Judge is as perfect as his knowledge of characters. He is the HOLY ONE AND THE JUST. He knew no fon, and in this respect was not made like ænto us. He offered himself without spot to God, actuated by feryent zeal for the honour of divine moral government and unexampled friendship to perishing
finners. “ I delight to do thy will, O my God! thy “ law is in my heart.” All who receive him have an availing plea for mercy and grace. He who is in the bosom of the Father is their Advocate, and was made a fin-offering for them. He “ loved righteousness and “ hated iniquity. For the suffering of death he as “ crowned with glory and honour ; and with right“ eousness and equity ftrall he judge the world. He “ was approved of God by the works he did in his " Father's name”—but especially when “ God raised « him from the dead, and set him at his own righet
hand, far above all principality, and power, and
might, and dominion; and gave him to be head “ over all things to the church.” The church and world had the fullest proof of his exaltation, in the miraculous gifts of the apostolic age. The accomplishment of prophecy, in every succeeding age, hath been a further proof of his divine mission of the truth of his declaration on the day he rose; “ All power is giv
en unto me in heaven and earth.” In the day of his power, his people are willing. Their hope is, that he “ shall change this vile body, and fashion it after the “ likeness of his glorious body, according to the work“ ing whereby he is able to subdue all things to him“ felf.”
This leads us to speak of his authority to judge mankind, and the reason of his appointment to this high office.
We read v. 22. con. “ The Father judgeth no man; « but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." And v. 28, 29. “ 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." And v. 21. “ As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth " them ; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will."
Again, “The Father loveth the Son, and hath com“ mittedall things into his hands-hath given him pow.
er over all flesh. God hath appointed a day in the “ which he will judge the world in righteousness, by " that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath
given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised “ him from the dead. We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. He must reign till he hath
put all enemies under his feet. He liveth for ever. “ more ; and hath the keys of death, the last enemy “ to be destroyed.”
“ As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he giv“ en to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given “ him authority to execute judgment also; because he " is the Son of man.” Because he is the Son of man. You see his authority to judge the world, and the reason why this authority is given him. Shall we be at pains to assign various conjectural reasons for this appointment? We have one plain revealed reason for it, which ought to satisfy us.
He humbled himself to take our nature upon him. And in the character of the man CHRIST Jesus, he will fit in judgment. We have a Mediator and a Judge “ who can be touched “ with the feeling of our infirmities."
Daniel, in his vision of the dominion and glory of the Son of man, describes him “ coming with the “ clouds of heaven. Thousand thousands ministered “ unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand “ stood before him. The judgment was set, and the “ books were opened.” This corresponds to St. Matthew's description of bis glorious appearance, and to other passages in the new testament, “ The Son “ of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy an
gels with him: Then shall he fit on the throne of “ his glory; and before him shall be gathered all na“ tions; and he shall divide them one from another
on his right hand and on his left.” Saith Paul, “ The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with