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the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
This is a very awful and heartstirring passage. But, solemn as it is, I well know that it will just glide over our minds, unheeded, and soon forgotten; unless the Spirit of God prepares our hearts to receive it. May God speak by it to some souls to-day! May it be a powerful voice to many; and may they hear it for their everlasting good !
That part of the Bible which is called the book of Revelation was written by St. John.
God was pleased to show him in a vision many things, which are yet to come.
He gives him, as it were, a glimpse of the heavenly world; and allows him to behold much, which is hidden from
In the chapter before us, he describes to us a very solemn scene; something which you and I shall one day behold for ourselves. He tells us what he himself saw of the Great Judgment.
He describes to us, in the first place, that great and holy Being who is to be our Judge.
Then next he speaks of those who are to be judged.
And, thirdly, of the sentence passed
I. “I saw (he says) a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven
This is Christ, our Saviour and our Judge. He once appeared on earth as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” He was "despised and rejected of men,” scorned and reviled. But now he is highly exalted, and reigns in heaven, a King for ever. St. John saw him sitting on his great white throne. And so awful was his presence, and so glorious his appearance, that it is said, the very “earth and the heaven fled away.”
What would be the astonishment of a man, to be taken from his cottage, and to be made to stand before the throne of an earthly Sovereign ? What must be the feelings of a prisoner hurried from his dungeon, and brought before an earthly Judge ? But this will be nothing to the feeling of awe which we shall experience, when we shall stand before “the great white throne, and Him that sitteth upon it.” We shall feel that his eye pierces through our very souls, and reads at one glance the whole history of our lives. We
shall feel that he is all holiness, and that we are all sin ; that He is all power, and that we are all weakness. Oh, this will indeed be the most glorious sight to some, and the most awful sight to others. But we must not now dwell upon it. Let us rather pass on to notice,
2ndly. Those that are ranged before Him. And who are they? The largest company that ever met. If all belonging to any one country were to be gathered together, it would be
enormous assembly. But here will be a whole world met together; all that have ever lived here on earth; from the first man Adam, to the last man that ever breathed. All we have ever heard of, and all we have ever read of, will be there Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, and
Pharoah king of Egypt, and wicked Balaam, Paul the great Apostle and servant of Christ, and Judas who betrayed him. The proudest king, and the poorest beggar, will stand side by side.
who were allowed a long time of trial here, and little children, who passed quickly through this world. The heathen, who lived and died without
knowledge of the God who made him, or of the Saviour who redeemed him ; and the professing Christian to whom the word of salvation was proclaimed. The hard-hearted sinner will be there, who denied the Lord that bought him. The worldly man, who chose his portion here, and thought not of another world ; and the waverer, who knew what was right, but never gave his heart to God. All, all will be there. And you and I, my brethren,