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9.  The Time Occupied by the Reckoning.

And these things will take place whenever that happens which is written in Daniel, “The books were opened and the judgment was set;”60966096    Dan. vii. 10. for a record, as it were, is made of all things that have been spoken and done and thought, and by divine power every hidden thing of ours shall be manifested, and everything that is covered shall be revealed,60976097    Matt. x. 26 ; Luke xii. 2. in order that when any one is found who has not “given diligence to be freed from the adversary,” he may go in succession through the hands 500of the magistrate, and the judge, and the attendant into the prison, until he pays the very last mite;60986098    Luke xii. 58, 59. but when one has given diligence to be freed from him and owes nothing to any one, and already has made the pound ten pounds or five pounds, or doubled the five talents, or made the two four, he may obtain the due recompense, entering into the joy of his Lord, either being set over all His possessions,60996099    Matt. xxiv. 47. or hearing the word, “Have thou authority over ten cities,”61006100    Luke xix. 17. or “Have thou authority over five cities.”61016101    Luke xix. 19.  In chap. 12 Origen reads:  Be thou also over five cities—as W. & H., and comments on the difference of the reward.  The mss. are therefore in error here.  But we think that these things are spoken of as if they required a long period of time, in order that an account may be made by us of the whole times of the earthly life, so that we might suppose that when the king makes a reckoning with each one of his many servants the matter would require so vast a period of time, until these things come to an end which have existed from the beginning of the world down to the consummation of the age, not of one age, but of many ages.  But the truth is not so; for when God wished all at once to rekindle in the memories of all everything that had been done by each one throughout the whole time, in order that each might become conscious of his own doings whether good or bad, He would do it by His ineffable power.  For it is not with God as with us; for if we wish to call some things to remembrance, we require sufficient time for the detailed account of what has been said by us, and to bring to our remembrance the things which we wish to remember; but if He wished to call to our memory the things which have been done in this life, in order that becoming conscious of what we have done we may apprehend for what we are punished or honoured, He could do so.  But if any one disbelieves the swiftness of the power of God in regard to these matters, he has not yet had a true conception of the God who made the universe, who did not require times to make the vast creation of heaven and earth and the things in them; for, though He may seem to have made these things in six days, there is need of understanding to comprehend in what sense the words “in six days” are said, on account of this, “This is the book of the generation of heaven and earth,”61026102    Gal. ii. 4. etc.  Therefore it may be boldly affirmed that the season of the expected judgment does not require times, but as the resurrection is said to take place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,”61036103    1 Cor. xv. 52. so I think will the judgment also be.


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