MEDITATION: Of The General Judgment, And Of The Signs and Things Precedent To That Day THE I POINT
The Last Judgment
c. 1435MEDITATION: Of The General Judgment, And Of The Signs and Things Precedent To That Day
THE I POINT
For the foundation of this matter, I am to consider the verity of that article of our faith that teacheth us, that besides the particular judgment that is made of every man in the hour of death, there shall be another general judgment of all men together in the end of the world, which judgment shall be public, and visible, ordained by the divine providence for many causes.
1. To confirm the sentence that was given in the particular judgment, and to manifest to the world the equity thereof; and with all to supply what there wanted. For in death, judgement is made of the soul only, and not of the body; and sometimes it happeneth the soul to be condemned in the judgement of God, and the body to be carried to the grave with great honor: Or contrary the soul to be carried with great glory to heaven, and the body with great ignominy to the grave. And seeing body, and soul were united together in serving, or offending almighty God, it is just that there should be a day wherein judgments should be made of them both. Whereupon I will animate my flesh to serve the spirit, seeing that with it, it is also to be judged
2. The 2. cause is, for almighty God, to show himself for the honor of the Just, that were pressed in this life, and much more for the good credit of his government, that all may see that he was both wise, and holy in all whatsoever he ordained, and permitted. So that, neither the good may then complain any more, that virtue was oppressed, nor the wicked glory that vice was exalted: and finally to confound the rash judgments of those that dared to judge what they knew not. Hereupon the Apostle counselled, that we should not judge before the time until our Lord come, who also will lighten the hidden things of darkness, & will manifest the councils of the hearts.
3. The 3. cause is, the glory of Christ JESUS our Lord, that he may not only discover himself in heaven to the good, but also that in earth, where his ignominy was apparent he may manifest himself to the wicked: and that those which saw him humiliation, may see the reward thereof. And for this cause the place of judgment shall be the valley of Josaphat, near to Jerusalem, and the mount of Olives, that in the same place where he was judged, condemned, and crucified for our sins, they may all see him with great honor to be the judge both of the quick, & the dead: and that he that ascended to heaven in the sight of a few disciples, shall descend (as it was told by the Angels) in the sight of the whole world to judge them all. For these cause the remembrance of judgement may move me to joy, thankfulness, and praise, glorifying God for his sovereign providence, wherewith he designed it for so high ends: and with David, inviting all creatures to rejoice, & clap their hands for joy, for that our Lord shall come to judge the earth, and shall judge all people, and all princes with justice, and equity, righting wrongs without acceptation of persons.