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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84

Part VI. — The Last Judgment

page 40

Part VI.

The Last Judgment.

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God."—Thess. iv. 16.

"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."—I Corinth, xv. 52.

"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."—Rev. xx. 13

"And before Him shall be gathered all nations : and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats : And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left."—Matt. xxv. 32, 33.

"Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us."—Luke xxiii. 30.

"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains : And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb."—Rev. vi. 15, 10.

Are these the kings, the commanders-in-chief, the generals and mighty men who, to satisfy their pride, ambition, and vanity laid the countries waste, sacrificed so many thousands of lives, and made the nations tremble ? Are these the great and rich men who pampered their fleshly desires by riotous living? Are these the cardinals, bishops and priests, with their mob, who were drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus? What ails them now; what has brought them so low and in such distress that they should thus seek to hide themselves? Because they see Him, the carpenter of Nazareth, who laid the foundation of the world, formed the mighty heavenly bodies, counteth the stars, and calleth them all by their names, and rolls them along in their mighty courses : He "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance" (Isaiah xl. 12). They see him coming in the clouds of heaven, accompanied by countless myriads of angels, sitting on the throne of his glory; and his little flock gathering from the ends of the earth to meet him in the air, but themselves forsaken. They see him whose tender mercy and invitations to mercy they have slighted and treated with ridicule, scorn, and contempt, as coming from one of no account, and whose rule they would not accept. They see him whose side they pierced (John xx. 27) coming in wrath and anger, with his eyes, as a flame of fire, fixed upon his enemies.

Is it their pride and vanity which has brought them into that sad plight? Yes, oh, yes; that cursed pride, that cursed vanity. But the rocks and mountains refuse to hear their prayer.

Here stand still and consider, ye infidels, freethinkers, unbelievers, scorners, hypocrites, and workers of iniquity. Do you still mean to say that the Apostle John is such an atrocious liar and deceiver as to tell us, falsely, that it was shown him in a vision as actually taking place; when the Apostles, and our Lord himself also tell us, in the above quoted passages, that in due time it shall take place? How will you fare when the time comes which shall turn the tables, and expose you as the atrocious liars?

We have here the loud summons by God's trumpet, sounded by the Archangel, for all the living and the dead to appear before the universal tribunal of Christ, where the whole human race, from Adam to the last born of woman, shall be gathered and judged according to their thoughts, words, and deeds; when strict justice will be meted out to each, and a final separation made between the wheat page 41 and the chaff. Thus shall the war, which is now raging between the Lamb and his race and the Serpent and his race, be ended.

On this occasion shall kings, princes, nobles, and ladies be placed on one level, along with murderers, whoremongers, thieves, rogues, liars, drunkards, blasphemers, sorcerers, scorners of God and his offered mercy and grace; persecutors, hypocrites of all kinds, down to the lowest of human beings, all shall see our Lord as a Judge, appearing in the grandest glory.

There they are, assembled by millions : on the left, children accusing and cursing their parents, and friends their companions, who have, hand in hand, led one another on in sin and carnal life; with their faces disfigured by the conviction of their guilt; for the faculty of memory, which is then preternaturally quickened, sets in order before their eyes and recalls all their many foul words and wicked deeds, and their whole career. Shame and horror is written on their faces. There they are, naked and exposed, bewailing and lamenting, with such cries as might rend the heavens; surrounded by millions of devils, whose existence they formerly denied and made light of, but who now are eagerly waiting to seize their prey. Now they repent, at which repentance they formerly used to mock; but alas, it is all too late—too late, through all eternity. Oh ! reader, stand still and consider, Eternity—to-day, whilst you are reading this—consider what your lot will be, tomorrow it may be too late.

Most of them seem to be so thoroughly convinced of their guilt, and of the wretched state they have brought themselves into, as not even to attempt to lay claim to anything. They only attempt to ignore the charge brought against them of unfeeling conduct and personal contempt shown towards the Lord himself, by the plea that they had never seen him in such a needy state as that they might have had opportunity to honour and to minister unto him; but even in that plea they fail (Matt. xxv. 45). The hypocrites it would seem, however, are more bold, for they do attempt to lay claim to reward on account of their good works; but how shockingly disappointed do these poor wretches find themselves when all their imaginary good works are pronounced as evil doings, and the many prayers which they have offered as a mockery (Matth. vii. 22, 23). These all, the Judge now sends, with "Depart, ye cursed," to their well deserved destination, when the gates will be shut and bolted behind them, never to be re-opened through all eternity. Oh "Eternity," what an awful word, and what a terrible doom !

Some persons have found a quibble in the word "eternal," and have mainly therefrom formed the opinion that God, some time after the judgment, will release the condemned ones from hell. We shall not enter into this endless dispute, for it would only be waste of space and time. Whatever meaning they may think they have discovered in the word "eternal," we know from other and most substantial grounds that God cannot do this thing, even if he would do it, for three reasons :—(1.) A Judge cannot at any time set aside his own previous decision or judgment : it must be done by a higher Court or power, which higher power is here not in existence. (2.) As shown elsewhere, (see Appendix A.) after the judgment the condemned ones are no more God's children nor his property, nor in any way related to him or to his kingdom, and he has consequently no power over them; but the devil claims them as his lawful property, as incorporated into his kingdom, and entirely under his power; he claims them for torment and torture, according to the judgment passed upon them, some more severe and some less; in which torment and torture the devil, as it would seem, finds some sort of ease. And, therefore. (3.) God would be bound to set the devil and his angels free as well, if he were to set his subjects free, and thus dissolve hell altogether. But before this could be, God must be prepared to change the character, nature, and disposition of the devil and his angels, and re-create them into clean and holy spirits; for if that were not done, the devil, when coming to heaven, would commence war again; and further, there dare nothing unclean appear in the new heaven.

But if such a changing of natures and cleansing operation could have taken place with the devil and his angels, God would have done this long before, and not have allowed him to do all the mischief and cause all the misery he has practised. It would appear that no changing of natures can take place; in fact the devil plainly admits that the time for his torment is to come. Likewise with the devil's page 42 subjects, they are quite unfit for heaven; they cannot speak nor understand the language spoken in heaven; they cannot join in any of the engagements which take place in heaven. They cannot sing the new song of Moses and the Lamb (Rev. xv. 3); for the time to learn all these things is here, in this world, because it can only be learned by experience and practice; consequently they cannot play the harp of God; they cannot wear crowns, as they do in heaven, for they have fought no battle—certainly not "the fight of faith," but have fought against it. They are not cleansed from their filthiness, and are naked—not clothed in the white linen worn in heaven (Rev. vii. 13; xix. 8). because after the departure from this world and after judgment, there is no forgiveness of sins. And many more things there are, too numerous to mention, which they are in need of to enable them to appear in heaven. In fact they are in such a condition that they would feel themselves unhappy, even in heaven; and there is no other place God could bring them to if released out of hell. The doctrines of "annihilation," and the "release" of the condemned ones from hell, thus is proved to be a pure invention of the devil in order to lull into and keep the people in their slumber, and make his hell full. But it is remarkable that these opinions are mostly held by those who, like the Samaritans of old, serve both the Lord and their idols (2 Kings xvii. 33, 41), and thus halt between two opinions (1 Kings xviii. 21); but they are never held by decided, true hearted Christians.

Now let us look at those placed at the right hand of the Judge. These have quite a different appearance from those on the left hand; though they are a very small number in comparison with them. Their faces are beaming, and their hearts are quivering for joy as if beside themselves. They are clothed in fine white linen; have palms in their hands, and are presented with crowns as if they were all kings themselves (Rev. iii. 4, 5; vii. 9, 13).

But why should such an extreme favour be shown to them, in preference to those on the other side. Have they committed no sin? Oh, yes; sins committed in countless numbers; and there are thousands among them who never did a single good work. As for example the malefactor on the cross (Luke xxiv. 42, 43), who had lived a wicked life up to the time of his imprisonment; and it was only when his hands and feet were actually nailed to the cross on which he died that he acknowledged Christ, and thus he was unable to do a single good act; still he is amongst those on the right. There are many such persons amongst these happy ones, but who just before their departure from this world owned and acknowledged the Judge as their Lord and Master, and submitted themselves to his authority; and now, when their sins are asked for, the reply from the judgment seat is: "There are none, for they are all forgiven." The reason, then, for all this favour shown to those on the right is because their sins are pardoned. Strange as it appears, but so it is. Their Lord and Master whom they owned, and to whose authority they submitted themselves while yet on this side their graves and in the present state of life, and who now occupies the bench of justice as Chief Judge, has paid for their guilt by his own blood, and to which payment their bitterest adversary the devil even can raise no objection. Wherefore are they placed at the right hand of the Judge, as their King, and they his subjects. They are adorned as such in white linen, with palms in their hands, and crowns upon their heads, because they fought against the prince of darkness, that great dragon, "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan" (Rev. xii. 9), with godly weapons within as well as from without, and became conquerors (Eph. vi. 10 to 18), a, as such conquerors, they have a "right to the tree of life, and may through the gates into the city," the Royal City, the New Jerusalem (Rev. xxu.) Washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Who, who are these beside the chilly wave,
Just on the borders of the silent grave,
Shouting Jesu's power to save,
"Washed in the blood of the Lamb?"
"Sweeping through the gates" of the New Jerusalem,
"Washed in the blood of the Lamb."

page 43

These, these are they who, in their youthful days,
Found Jesus early, and in wisdom's ways
Proved the fulness of His grace,
"Washed in the blood of the Lamb."

These, these are they who, in affliction's woes,
Ever have found in Jesus calm repose,
Such as from a pure heart flows,
"Washed in the blood of the Lamb."

These, these are they who, in the conflict dire,
Boldly have stood amid the hottest fire;
Jesus now says : "Come up higher,"
"Washed in the blood of the Lamb."

Safe, safe upon the ever-shining shore,
Sin, pain, and death, and sorrow, all are o'er;
Happy now and evermore,
"Washed in the blood of the Lamb."

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