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§ 65. (3.) Of the Final Judgment.

Upon the resurrection of the dead there follows the final judgment, and then the end of this world will have been reached. [1] There will, therefore, still be men living upon this earth when the final judgment comes, and these will not experience a reuniting of soul and body, as no death has preceded; the change, however, that takes place in the bodies of those raised from the dead, will take place in theirs also, but in a different manner, viz., by transformation. [2] The precise time when the final judgment will take place is not known to us, [3] but signs will precede it from which the approach of that day may be inferred. Such are, especially, the most extreme development of Satan’s power, and the like extraordinary security and ungodliness of men. [4] When all 644this shall have reached the highest degree, God will cause judgment to break forth, and thus become for the godly the helper in the highest need. The judgment will be held by Christ, [5] who will appear to all, visibly and in glory, to the longed-for consolation of the godly, and to the fearful terror of the ungodly. [6] Then, in the case of all, everything will be revealed that they have done, the good and the evil; all will then be judged according to the norm of the revelation given to them upon earth, [7] and judgment will be executed upon them all in such a manner, that the godly will be admitted to the kingdom of glory, and the ungodly will be driven out into the kingdom of eternal darkness. [8]

[1] QUEN. (IV, 605): “The general judgment is, with respect to order, subsequent to the resurrection of the dead, 1 Thess. 4:16. For the general judgment will immediately succeed the general resurrection of the dead. The resurrection will occur on the last or latest of all days, and will place an end to the vicissitude of worldly things, and therefore to time itself, John 11:24.”

HOLL. (1246): “The final general judgment is a solemn act, by which the triune God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, appearing in a visible form and with the highest glory, will place all angels and men before His judgment-seat, for the purpose of judging all thoughts, words, and deeds, of the godly, indeed, according to the norm of the Gospel, but of the wicked, according to the precept of the Law,; and will assign to the former, and confer upon then, eternal joys, and, to the latter, eternal tortures, to the glory of His retributive and vindicatory justice.” A distinction is also made between this general or final judgment and “the particular judgment by which, at the hour of death, a state of glory or of ignominy is awarded every man.”

[GRH. XVIII, 35): “There are five reasons, because of which the general, universal and public judgment ought to occur, even though a particular and private judgment precede:

1. The manifestation of divine glory, viz., that the justice and mercy of God may be displayed. For since, in this life, it seems to be well with the wicked and ill with the good, and, on this account, divine Providence is attacked by malevolent critics, God will appoint a day, in which, in the presence of the whole world, He will display His supreme justice against the godless, and His supreme mercy towards the godly, and in the sight of all angels and men declare, that, in connection with supreme mercy towards the 645godly, He uses no cruelty or injustice towards the godless, and in connection with supreme severity towards the godless, He uses no respect of persons or unjust liberality towards the godly.

2. The glorification of Christ: “We see not yet all things put under Him,” Heb. 2:8, “but then He shall come in His majesty,” Matt. 25:31. As, at His first advent, He was unjustly condemned as a culprit before all; so, at His second advent, He shall judge all, as a just and glorious Judge.

3. The exaltation of the godly. As in this life, the godly “are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men,” 1 Cor. 4:9, so, in the final judgment before the whole world, all angels and men, it is right that they be pronounced and crowned as victors.

4. The completion of rewards and punishments. The souls of godly and ungodly, separated from their bodies, receive only the beginnings of blessedness and condemnation; but then the entire man, consisting of body and soul will be judged, and will receive in his body the completion of rewards and punishments.

5. The continued consideration of good and evil works. For the good and evil works of the dead are not yet finished. Prophets and Apostles still serve the Church by their writing and example; heresiarchs still corrupt the minds of men by their writings; when, then, on the day of judgment, the good and evil deeds of the dead shall be finished with the world itself, the ultimate and decisive sentence will be given.”]

[2] QUEN. (IV, 585): “The circumstance most closely connected with the resurrection of the dead, is the change of those whom the last day will find alive, which is to take place in a moment and in the twinkling of an eye, 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:15, 17.” The order of the resurrection is the following, HFRFFR. (682): “When the last day shall dawn, Christ (while, by means of fire, heaven and earth are passing away with a great noise) will come in the clouds in the same visible form in which He ascended into the heavens, with many thousands of angels, with the greatest shout or thunder, in the voice of the archangel and the trump of God; and then the dead, hearing the voice of the Son of God, will first rise, each one in his own body; then we, whom that day will find alive, will be changed in a moment, so as to be placed before the judgment-seat, 1 Thess. 4:15.”

[3] GRH. (XIX, 226): “The time of the final judgment can be regarded as twofold, of the beginning and of the continuance. The time of the beginning we define as precisely that point of time in which Christ will return from heaven to judge the living and raise 646the dead to life, and, by means of the ministry of angels, to assemble both before His judgment-seat for the purpose of hearing a decisive sentence. The Holy Scriptures testify that this will occur on the last day, in which also the resurrection of the dead will precede the judgment, and the end of the world will follow, Matt. 24:30; 25:31; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev. 20:11; but what day will be the last and latest, and, therefore, on what day or what hour Christ will come to judgment, we believe that no man can know exactly and precisely, and, therefore, we ought to abstain from bold and anxious inquiry concerning it, Acts 1:7.”

[5] HOLL. (1248): “By the will and appointment of God, divinely revealed signs will precede the last day, from which it can be known in a general way that that great day is approaching.” The signs are distinguished as remote or general signs, and near or peculiar signs. HOLL. (ib.): “The former occur not merely in one age, and frequently recur, or are continued. The latter are those which are to be seen only as the judgment approaches nearer, but not likewise in former ages. The general and more remote signs, although they do not seem to indicate the time of judgment, yet, according to God’s appointment and intention, indicate and ought to admonish Christians, from the force of divine justice and the truth of the predictions, that an appointed judgment is to be expected. Moreover, among the nearer or peculiar signs, there is this difference, that some precede the judgment by a longer, and others by a shorter interval; and, for this reason, not even these indicate precisely a certain time.” Among the former are enumerated (according to GRH. XIX, 246): “1. The multiplication of heresies, Matt. 24:5.” (Concerning this passage GRH. says (ib.): “The apostle asked, at the same time, both when those things would take place which He had predicted concerning the destruction of the temple, and what would be the sign of His coming, and of the end of the world. Matt. 24:3; Mark 13:4; Luke 21:7. For they thought that it would not be until the second coming of Christ for judgment, that Jerusalem would be destroyed, and the temple, and with it the entire world; and that thus there would be an end of all things and that then only, when all things should have become new, the Messiah would enter upon His new reign. Christ, therefore, distinctly replies to both members of the question; and first, indeed, discourses concerning the devastation of Jerusalem, indicating by this itself that they would be not of the same, but of diverse times. Although, therefore, the matters presented by Christ in the first part of His reply pertain properly and principally to the times preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, yet 647the matters which are predicted in the same place, concerning the coming of false prophets and the rest of the evils that were to precede the devastation of Jerusalem, can be properly referred, secondarily and by way of consequence, to the state of the times that precede the final judgment, because the destruction of Jerusalem was a type of the general destruction destined for the entire globe. Whence, those things also which are here said by Christ concerning the times that were to precede the destruction of Jerusalem, are adapted in other passages of Scripture to the times that were to precede the end of the world. Compare Dan. 12:1 with Matt. 24:21, and 2 Pet. 3:9 with Matt. 24:22). 2. Seditions throughout the entire world, arising from wars, and the disquiet arising from earthquakes, Matt. 24:6-8; Luke 21:9-11. 3. Dreadful persecution of the godly, Matt. 24:9: Mark 13:9; Dan. 11:44; Rev. 11:7; 12:4, 13; 13:7; 17:6; 18:24; 19:2; 20:4. 4. An inundation of careless security and defiant wickedness, and extreme depravity of life, Matt. 24:12, 37-29; Luke 17:28-30; 18:8; 2 Thess. 2:7; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Pet. 3:3. 5. The universal preaching of the Gospel throughout the entire world, Matt. 24:14; Dan. 11:44; Mal. 4:2. As near and peculiar signs, the following are cited: (1) The overthrow of the distinguished fourth monarchy (Dan. 2:31, sq.). (2) The overthrow of Antichrist, (for since, in the Church of the Thessalonians, the report had been spread under the name and pretence of apostolic doctrine, that the last day was immediately at hand, Paul advises the Thessalonians to have no faith in this false opinion, for Antichrist must be revealed before the Day of the Lord will come, 2 Thess. 2:3. Of this revelation of Antichrist, and his conquest by the preaching of the Gospel, other prophecies of Scripture also speak, Dan. 8:25; 11:44; Jer. 51:58; Mal. 4:5; Rev. 14:6; 18:2); (3) the observing of various signs, in all parts of the entire universe, Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 21:25.” BR. (377): “Remarkable eclipses of the heavenly bodies and their fall to the earth,” “for although the mode and precise nature of the heavenly signs, and especially of the fall of the stars to the earth, have not been revealed; yet it is better in these matters to retain the letter of Scripture, and to leave the manner of the occurrence to divine wisdom and power, than, the literal sense being deserted, to seek or embrace a metaphor, especially since in other connections express mention is made of heavenly signs, as contradistinguished from earthly, Luke 21:25.” HOLL. (1148): “There are some who explain the words of Christ mystically, as referring to a remarkable change of the Church, the obscuring of the heavenly doctrine, and the apostasy of the Church’s teachers; others advise 648that the literal sense be not abandoned.” As to the purpose for which these scripturally foretold signs were intended, GRH. (XIX, 274): “Christ made the predictions to the end that they might be: (1) Indicative of His love towards us. To advise any one beforehand of coming evils is the office of a friendly and kind mind. (2) A means of driving away security. (3) Antidotes against over-anxiety. Christ predicted signs of the judgment, by which it could be recognized beforehand, but was unwilling to determine a definite day of judgment. This avails to drive away security from our minds, lest we should think that the decisive and judicial day were still far off; but it also avails for the removal of curiosity, lest we should boldly dare to search into that which God has placed in His own power and knowledge. Just as death is certain, but the hour of death is uncertain so it is certain that the final judgment will at some time follow, but the hour of judgment is uncertain and unknown to men, Matt. 24:44; Luke 10:46. (4) As remedies for pusillanimity. Just in the proportion that numerous and terrible evils befall the godly, do they hasten the more rapidly the day of redemption and refreshing” (απολυτρωσεως και αναψυξεως). GRH. (XX, 95): “The Millennarians teach that, before the last day, Christ will return from heaven to earth, to raise the godly dead, and, with them, together with those also whom He will find alive, all the godless being suppressed, to pass on this earth for a thousand years a life abounding in corporeal pleasures, an earthly, corporeal and visible reign being begun; and that then, when the thousand years of this reign shall have been finished, the end of the world and the general resurrection of all shall follow.”

In regard to Antichrist, we remark that the word is used in a twofold sense by the Dogmaticians. HOLL. (2070): “(a) Generically, for all heretics who disseminate doctrines that are false and conflict with the doctrine of Christ, and who obstinately defend these. Concerning those who are commonly called little Antichrists, 1 John 2:18. (b) Specifically, and by pre-eminence, for that remarkable adversary of Christ, described in 2 Thess. 2, whom, for the purpose of making a distinction, we call the great Antichrist.” A distinction is made also between the Eastern and the Western Antichrist. QUEN. (IV, 522): “The Eastern is outside of the Church, and is called, Ez. 38:2; Rev. 20:7, 8, Gog and Magog. The Western sits in the very lap of the Church, and of this we are here treating. Some of the fathers thought that this would be a Jew springing from the tribe of Dan, and the Papists also generally follow this opinion; but we are certain that Antichrist has his origin not from the Jews, but from the assembly of Christians, 649or from those who make a Christian profession, 2 Thess. 2:3, 4 sq.”

Of Antichrist it is held, BR. (783): (He is) “not any one particular human individual. For (1) Antichrist was to come, when that which hindered the erection of his government (viz., the ancient Eastern Roman empire, whose seat was at Rome) would be removed; but he was to continue until the glorious advent of Christ; now, this duration, for so many ages, altogether exceeds the life of one man. (2) The Scriptures describe the origin or planting and the progress or growth of Antichrist in such a manner that it is impossible for all to occur in the life of one man; that is, if we consider that the power was to have been derived from hidden beginnings, not so much by means of arms and open violence as by insidious arts by which the minds of men are gradually occupied and brought over to its side, and that, too, not in one nation or people, but throughout the greatest part of the earth; and that kings and nations were to make use of his society to satiety and nausea, and to avail themselves of his aid for persecuting the saints, etc., according to “Rev. 13:14, 17, concerning the beast and the great whore.” Thereupon the Pope was declared to be Antichrist. QUEN. (IV, 526): “These marks of Antichrist are to be taken here not apart and separately, but unitedly and together, and thus taken they exactly coincide with the Pope of Rome, whence the conclusion emerges, that the Pope of Rome is the great Antichrist, predicted by the Holy Ghost.”

Among the events that are to occur before the final judgment, (1) some, even among Lutheran theologians, enumerate the general conversion of the Jews. By the great majority, however, this opinion is rejected. HOLL. (1263): “Although access to repentance and faith in Christ has not been debarred the Jews by an absolute decree of God, and many of them, in the course of time from the apostolic era downward, have returned into favor with God, yet their universal, or their certainly manifest and solemn conversion about the time of the end of the world, is not to be expected.” The passage, Rom. 11:25, 26, which seems most distinctly to teach such a general conversion, is thus explained by HOLL. (1269): “(a) The proposition of Paul is universal, not absolutely, but with limitation. The limitation exists in this very chapter 11, v. 2, likewise v. 5, also v. 23. Wherefore, with the limitation added, the meaning is: ‘All Israel that God foreknew would believe in Christ will be saved;’ or, ‘All Israel elect unto eternal life will be saved;’ or, ‘All the Israelites who do not remain in unbelief will be saved. But it is not lawful to conclude 650from this ‘the whole nation of Israelites, or the greater part of the Jews, will be saved,’ since it is evident that the faith does not belong to all, nor the election to many; the particle αχρις ου, until or as far as, does not always denote the ceasing from or end of anything, but frequently, in affirmative propositions, a continuation so as to be equipollent with always. Wherefore the mind of the apostle is: As long as the conversion of the Gentiles and their entrance into the Church shall continue, so long will Jews be successively converted. But the conversion of Gentiles will continue during the entire time of the New Testament. Therefore, so also the conversion of Jews.”

GRH. (XIX, 293): “Neither can the absolutely universal conversion of all the Jews be hoped for. For, as the fulness of the Gentiles does not denote nations taken individually and collectively, and their individuals taken one by one, but a great number from the nations of the Gentiles, so also by ‘all Israel’ the entire Jewish people and all their individuals are not indicated, but only a great multitude of the Jewish nation.”

(2) Others not of the Lutheran Church enumerate as among these events, “A coming of Christ, to be expected before the final judgment, for the purpose of establishing a kingdom on this earth under the control of the elect for a thousand years (Chiliasm).” But the Lutheran Church has always taught as follows (QUEN., IV, 649): “Since the second advent of Christ, the general resurrection, the final judgment, and the end of the world are immediately united; and one follows the other without an interval of time, it is manifest that, before the completion of the judgment, no earthly kingdom and life abounding in all spiritual and bodily pleasure, as the Chiliasts or Millennarians dream, is to be expected.” CONF. AUG. (XVII, 4):: “They condemn others also, who now scatter Jewish opinions, that before the resurrection of the dead the godly shall occupy the kingdom of the world, the wicked being everywhere suppressed.” The following are mentioned as such Chiliasts: “The Jews, Cerinthus, Papias, Joachim (Abbot of Floris), the Fanatics and Anabaptists, Casp. Schwenkfeld, and others.” A distinction is also made between “gross and subtile Chiliasm. The former estimates the millennium as happy, because of the illicit pleasure of the flesh; the latter, because of the lawful and honorable delights of both body and soul.” (HOLL., 1256.) But both are rejected. GRH. (XX, 109): “But . . . it clearly appears that the hope and opinion of all concerning this Chiliastic government is not the same. 1. For some contend for a subtile Chiliasm consisting in the peace of the Church, perfect 651justice, rest from temptations, universal conformity with the orthodox faith, etc.; but others for a gross Chiliasm, driven hither and thither by bodily delights and pleasures. 2. Some hope that this kingdom will begin before the resurrection, others after the resurrection; unless we be willing to unite these two dissenting opinions by this bond of distinction, that it will begin after the resurrection of the saints, or certainly of the martyrs, and before the universal resurrection of all men. 3. Some present their own opinions as probable, and, in suspense and doubt, commit the whole matter of the future issue; but others are earnest in their endeavors to obtrude them upon the Church, with the necessity of belief, as arguments evident beyond contradiction. 4. Some dispute in schools and books theoretically concerning the Chiliastic and imaginary kingdom; but others endeavor to accomplish it practically, as the Anabaptists of Münster, who taught that all wicked magistrates must be removed from their midst, in order that that most peaceful rule might follow. 5. Some say, in general, that the kingdom of Christ must be established on this earth; but others designate the land of Canaan in particular, as that into which the Jews are to be brought back. 6. Some say that the time of the duration of this kingdom is known precisely to God alone; but others assign to it precisely a thousand years. 7. Some hope that all the godly and saints will first be raised, in order to become partners in this kingdom; the Jews, that Israelites alone; Piscator, that the martyrs alone: some say that they will die again before the final judgment, but others hope that they will live forever with Christ. 8. Some dispute concerning this kingdom from the Holy Scriptures, others from the Sibylline oracles, others from apostolic traditions, others from the Apocryphal Books, the fourth book of Esdras especially. Thus, therefore, its patrons do not at all agree among themselves concerning the nature, the time, and the subjects of the kingdom, and the mode and grounds of discussion with regard to it.”

The principal passages to which Chiliasts appealed are Is. 65:22; Matt. 26:29; Jn. 10:16; Eph. 5:5; 1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 20:6. The last, which is the chief passage, GRH. (XX, 124 sq.) thus explains: “The opinion of those seems especially probable who place the beginning of these ‘thousand years; in the empire of Constantine the Great; for then Satan, who in the first three centuries from the birth of Christ had impelled the heathen emperors and Roman proconsuls to horrible persecutions of the Christians, was bound, as under Constantine peace was given to the Church, and persecutions ceased, neither were the nations of which the Apocalypse 652especially makes mention, able any longer with such violence and cruelty to propagate their rage for idols. According to this hypothesis, the end of these thousand years will fall in the year of Christ 1300, about which time Satan, being again released, aroused the Ottoman family, under which God and Magog, i.e., the Turkish empire . . . acquired the greatest strength, and the Saracen race raged against the Church with a greater effort than before, the greatest and most flourishing part of the world having been occupied, and the city of Constantinople having at length been taken, which was the seat of the Eastern empire; so that in this manner, between the empire of Constantine, who warded off persecutions from the Church, and that of the Ottoman Turk, who greatly afflicted the Church, these thousand years intervene. And because horrible persecutions, excited by the heathen emperors, in which several thousand Christians were slain, preceded this binding of Satan and the rest of the Church which followed at length under Constantine the Great, John, in his vision, introduces the souls of the martyrs who had been beheaded or slain because of the testimony of Jesus, and because of the Word of God . . . . To these he joins the souls of those who had not adored the beast and his image, nor received his mark on their foreheads or in their hands . . . . Concerning these souls of godly martyrs and confessors, to which also may be added the souls of those who were killed when Satan was loosed in the persecutions of the Papists and Turks, John declares first ‘that seats of judgment were given,’ viz., as a sign of the judgment they were to exercise; secondly, that they lived; and thirdly, that they reigned with Christ a thousand years. They exercised judgment against their persecutors, by whom they were killed. For, as the blood of the godly cries out from earth to heaven, and begs for punishment against those who have shed it, so also their souls in heaven cry out under the altar, and beg for vengeance for their own blood and that of their brethren. They have lived evidently in heavenly peace, tranquility, and glory. The tyrants passed sentence that they should be destroyed both in soul and body, but the Holy Ghost, in this passage and frequently elsewhere in the Scriptures, bears witness that immediately after death they live in heavenly glory. Finally, ‘they reigned with Christ,’ i.e., all enemies, the devil, the flesh, the world, and all adversaries having been entirely overcome. Neither from the particle ‘until’ are we permitted to infer that when this ‘a thousand years’ shall have been finished, the happiness of the saints will also have been ended . . . . But for this reason the thousand years are expressly mentioned, because when they have been completed, 653what happens to the Church is memorable, viz., that, Satan being again released, it shall be attacked anew by the most grievous persecutions.”

HOLL. (1259): “(1) Because the Apocalypse is a prophetic book, full of most abstruse visions, as well as allegorical and quasi-enigmatical forms of speech, difficult to be understood, and therefore to be expounded according to the analogy of the faith, based upon clear and perspicuous Scripture passages. (2) The Chiliasts cannot clearly show from the cited passage the solemn advent of Christ to establish a millennial kingdom in which (a) men shall live endowed with a perfect knowledge of God, distinguished for consummate holiness and rejoicing in earthly felicity; (b) the martyrs shall rise from the dead; (c) all the Jews be converted, and (d) at its commencement Antichrist be overturned.”

[5] BR. (379): “The judge will be Christ Himself (Matt. 25:31; according to both natures, John 5:22, 27), who, gloriously appearing in His assumed humanity, and seated as upon a judgment-throne, conspicuous to all, will pronounce sentence with authority divine. Moreover, Christ will have holy men, Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:30; 1 Cor. 6:2, and good angels, Matt. 25:31, partly as judges and partly as ministering attendants of the judgment. And, indeed, it will be the office of the angels not only to accompany Christ to judgment, and to manifest His advent by sending forth a great sound (1 Thess. 4:16), but also to assemble, from all parts of the world (Matt. 24:31; Mark 13:27), both those who have been raised from the dead and those found alive, then to separate the godly from the wicked (Matt. 13:41, 49), by placing the former at the right hand and the latter at the left (Matt. 25:32), and then to thrust the damned to hell (Matt. 13:42, 50). But holy men will be the witnesses and approvers of Christ’s judgment.”

[6] HOLL. (1249): “The advent of Christ as judge will be public, and exceedingly glorious, terrible to the wicked, and greatly longed for by the godly.”

[GRH. treats of a number of supplementary questions:

1. Is Christ’s return to judgment contradictory to His presence on earth in both natures? Here we must distinguish between modes of presence, 1 Kings 19:11: “God was not in the wind;” and yet it could not be said absolutely that God was not there, but only that there was no manifestation of His presence. So in Ex. 33:3, the presence of His grace, but not of His power, is denied.

2. Will His return be local? Yes; nevertheless not successive, as though during a period of time He will descend from heaven in 654the clouds, as at the ascension He was gradually received into heaven, but sudden and momentary, Matt. 24:43; Luke 12:39; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 16:15; Luke 21:35.

3. What of the clouds? After stating the various interpretations, as that they are used metaphorically to represent the serenity, or the severity of divine judgment, or the saints who will attend Him, Jude 5:15, who are called in Heb. 12:1, “a cloud of witnesses,” he prefers the literal interpretation, “since, in articles of faith, we must not depart from the letter without urgent necessity.”

4. Why will He come in the clouds? (a) They are God’s throne and chariot, Ps. 104:3; Is. 19:1. (b) At His ascension, a cloud received Him, Acts 1:9, cf. v. 11. (c) At His transfiguration, a cloud overshadowed Him, Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:34. (d) The analogy of the cloud which separated the Israelites from the Egyptians, Ex. 14:19, dark to the one, bright to the other, Ps. 105:39. (e) In the Old Testament, His glory appeared in the cloud, Ex. 16:10; 19:9; 40:38; Num. 12:5; 2 Chr. 5:13.

5. In what form will He be seen? Some think that the wicked will see Him as He was crucified, arguing form Zach. 12:10. But Scripture leaves no doubt, Matt. 16:27; 24:30, i.e., He will be seen in a glorified form by all. Nevertheless we must distinguish between the beatific vision of the godly and the terrifying vision of the godless.

QUENST. (IV, 622) considering whether He will display the wounds of His passion, as He reappears, refers to the dissent of Brentz and Aegidius Hunnius, who maintained that they were laid aside with His resurrection, and only displayed to His disciples by a peculiar dispensation, in order to prove the truth of the resurrection-body, and after quoting Luther, Chemnitz, and Grh. on the other side (that “they are retained, yet so as to occasion no deformity, but so as to render His body all the more beautiful, and affording the more consolation”), concludes:

“Almost all the holy doctors of the Church have been of the opinion that Christ Jesus, not only by a peculiar dispensation, showed the marks of His wounds to His disciples after His resurrection, but also that He has ascended into heaven imprinted with these as seals of His victory and triumph, and that He displays the same now in heaven to His Father and the holy angels, and that He will offer them to the sight of all on the last day. But this opinion, since it is not expressly propounded in Holy Scriptures, we do not maintain as an article of faith, but as a dogma not contrary to the analogy of faith, supported by the authority of 655antiquity, useful to excite devotion, and most full of consolation.”]

[7] QUEN. (IV, 611): “The norm of this judgment is, indeed, generally speaking, with respect to the men to be judged, the entire heavenly doctrine, John 12:48; Rom. 2:16; but specially, and with respect ot the pious, the Gospel, strictly so called, and as contradistingished from the Law, Gal. 3:9, 12; Matt. 26:34; and with respect to the unbelieving, the Law, Gal. 3:10; Rom. 2:12; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:19, 20, 21 — the Law, I say, but not alone, and considered by itself, but as it has been illumined by the Gospel.”

[8] QUEN. (IV, 610): “The form of the final judgment consists in the judicial examination of a case, Matt. 25:35, 42; 1 Cor. 4:5; in the decision of the case when examined, as also in the publication of a definitive sentence, Matt. 25:46; and, finally, in the execution of the sentence.” A distinction is made between judgment of examination and of retribution. HOLL. (1253): “In the judgment of examination (discussionis), the cases of all men, the just as well as the unjust, will be investigated, and be wicked deeds of the unjust, having been accurately examined, will be published. In the judgment of retribution, a sentence suitable to each one will be pronounced. This jugment will be twofold, of approbation, or absolution, by which eternal life will be assigned to the elect and conferred upon them, and of reprobation or condemnation, by which reprobates will be sent away into eternal fire.” As to the mode of procedure, HFRFFR. (683): “Not that troublesome and continued din of a forensic court of justice, where the truth must be elicited, and the judge informed by means of certain articles, inquiries, replies, and prolix examinations of witnesses; but, since the president of this court is true God and man, and the searcher of hearts, He not only knows and observes all things, but will bring every secret word, deed, thought, desire, and purpose into clear light (their conscience bearing witness, and the wicked being separated from the good, the former being placed at the left, and the latter at the right hand), and will pronounce and execute sentence against the wicked without the intervention of any delay. This process is described by Christ Himself, Matt. 25, and by Paul, 2 Cor. 5:10.”

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