Acts 10:39
We are witnesses of all that He did, both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And although they put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree,
Sermons
A Good Man's ConversionC. S. Robinson, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
Broadening FoundationsP.C. Barker Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusW. M. Taylor, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusJames Owens.Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusW. Hay Aitken, M. A.Acts 10:1-48
CorneliusPreacher's MonthlyActs 10:1-48
Cornelius of CaesareaG. M. Grant, B. D.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius the Truth SeekerC. H. Payne, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius, a Monument of the Omnipotence of GraceK. Gerok.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius, an Example of PietyJ. T. Woodhouse.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius, the Truth SeekerJ. G. Hughes.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius: a Model for VolunteersG. Venables, M. A.Acts 10:1-48
Cornelius; Or, New Departures in ReligionJ. Clifford, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
DreamsG. H. James.Acts 10:1-48
Family DevotionC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:1-48
Peter's VisionR. T. Stevenson.Acts 10:1-48
Peter's VisionD. J. Burrell D. D.Acts 10:1-48
The Character and Conversion of CorneliusR. P. Buddicom, M. A.Acts 10:1-48
The Character of CorneliusG. Spence, D. C. L.Acts 10:1-48
The Conversion of the GentilesJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
The Providential Guidance of the ChurchDean Alford.Acts 10:1-48
The Supernatural PreparationD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 10:1-48
Man in God's Sight; Or, Divine ImpartialityW. Clarkson Acts 10:9-48
The First Trumpet-Sound of the Gospel in the Heathen WorldR.A. Redford Acts 10:23-43
A Model AudienceB. D. Johns.Acts 10:30-48
A Model CongregationD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
A Model CongregationWilliam Forsyth, A. M.Acts 10:30-48
Attending At Ordinances EnforcedR. Watson.Acts 10:30-48
Complemental MinistryW. Arnot, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Concerning Audiences, Preachers, Sermons, and ConversionsJ. McNeill.Acts 10:30-48
Congregations to be Well Fed with the TruthC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:30-48
Cornelius and PeterM. C. Hazard.Acts 10:30-48
Cornelius's Sending and Peter's ComingJ. W. Burn.Acts 10:30-48
Different Kinds of HearersT. Boston, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Don't Grumble About the FodderActs 10:30-48
Hearing and its Proper EffectsJ. Newton.Acts 10:30-48
Interested HearersActs 10:30-48
Peter and CorneliusG. Leach, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Peter At CaesareaT. J. Holmes.Acts 10:30-48
Peter At CaesareaD. J. Burrell, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
Punctuality in Attendance At ChurchCyclopoedia of Illustrative AnecdotesActs 10:30-48
The Best Remedy for Small CongregationsActs 10:30-48
The Gospel to the GentilesDean Vaughan.Acts 10:30-48
The Ideal CongregationD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 10:30-48
The Model CongregationWatson Smith.Acts 10:30-48
The Reciprocal Duties of a Minister and of His PeopleJ. Hughes, M. A.Acts 10:30-48
Truth Liked as a Sentiment, But Disliked as a Law of LifeH. W. Beecher.Acts 10:30-48
Various Kinds of HearersH. Smith.Acts 10:30-48
Discourse of Peter At CaesareaE. Johnson Acts 10:34-43
The Gospel for the HeathenR. Tuck Acts 10:37-43
Christ, the Preacher's Great ThemeC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:39-43
Christ's Coming to JudgmentActs 10:39-43
Forgiveness of SinHomilistActs 10:39-43
Jesus, the JudgeC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:39-43
St. Peter's Boldness, Delicacy, and CandourE. T. Marshall, M. A.Acts 10:39-43
The Apostolic TestimonyJ. W. Burn.Acts 10:39-43
The Certainty and Circumstances of a Future JudgmentI. Barrow, D. D.Acts 10:39-43
The Mediator -- Judge and SaviourC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 10:39-43
The Privacy of Christ's Resurrection no Argument Against the Truth of ItS. Eccles, M. A.Acts 10:39-43
The Universality of the GospelActs 10:39-43
Way to Accept Remission of SinsActs 10:39-43
Witnesses of the ResurrectionJ. H. Newman, D. D.Acts 10:39-43

I. THAT IN CHRIST WHICH IS INIMITABLE BY US.

1. God sent him on a mission altogether higher than our own. He "anointed him" to be the Redeemer of a world, to be its Savior by suffering and dying in its stead, by revealing truth which it could not possibly have discovered.

2. God dwelt in him as he dues not and could not do in us. He was anointed "with the Holy Ghost," and God "gave not the Spirit by measure unto him."

3. He was armed with a power which was irresistible: the "winds and the waves obeyed" him; sickness fled at his touch; death itself was obedient to his voice; the spirit-world owned his presence and yielded to his authority; he "healed all that were possessed of the devil." Our function in the world, our possession by God, our power over the forces around us, - this is in striking contrast with the work and present power of Jesus Christ.

II. THAT IN CHRIST WHICH IS IMITABLE BY US.

1. We are charged with a holy and benign mission; we are "anointed" to do a good if not a great work in the world (see John 20:21). We are "sent" by our Lord to "bear witness unto the truth," both in word and deed; "to work and speak and think for him;" to "serve our generation by the will of God."

2. We are to be those in whom God dwells by his Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22).

3. We are to be possessed of spiritual power (Ephesians 3:16, 19; Ephesians 6:10; Colossians 1:11).

4. We are to be the sources and channels of blessing; we are to "go about doing good" (Hebrews 13:16). We may "do good" everywhere and always - the smile of encouragement, the look of love, the sigh of sympathy, the touch of kindness, the word of truth, the act of integrity, every manifestation of the Spirit of Christ is "doing good." And all is to be done under the same condition. For:

5. We are to have the continual presence and sanction of our heavenly Father: "God was with him." - C.







And we are witnesses of all things which He did.
I. ITS SUBSTANCE.

1. Christ's miracles. "All things which He did." These miracles were —(1) Declarative of His Divine power, and thus credentials of His Messiahship.(2) Symbols of His saving influence. As there was a miracle in every parable, so there was a parable in every miracle. Thus, when Christ opened blind eyes, it typified the restoration of spiritual sight; when He healed disease, it showed His power over the paralysis and leprosy of sin; when He raised people from the dead, it proclaimed His ability to raise from the death of trespasses and sins.

2. Christ's crucifixion. "Whom they slew." This was the central fact of all apostolic testimony. It was the burden of Peter's earliest message and latest epistle, and the ruling theme of all Paul's ministry. This was not only

(1)Martyrdom for truth, or

(2)An example of self-sacrifice, but also

(3)Atonement for sin. As the preacher afterwards testified, "He bore our sins," "He died the Just for the unjust," and redeemed us with His "precious blood."

3. Christ's resurrection (ver. 40). This was declarative of —

(1)His Divine Sonship.

(2)His victory over death and the grave.

(3)The acceptance of His atonement.

(4)Our resurrection, of which His was a pledge and type.

4. His second coming (ver. 42). This was a matter of revelation, not of eyewitnessing, but it was the inevitable outcome of all they saw. Christ was to come —

(1)As Judge, and assert openly His universal Lordship.

(2)As Raiser of the dead.

5. Remission of sins through faith in Christ (ver. 43). Thus we have in the first sermon to the Gentiles the whole gospel in substance, and the main articles of the Christian creed.

II. ITS AUTHORITY.

1. The testimony of their senses. They were trustworthy men. They could see, and actually saw, and had no inclination or inducement to make a false report; and their clear knowledge and full conviction gave body and strength to their testimony.

2. The Divine choice and command. They were selected because they had seen, and were commanded to tell what they saw. Hence they were not lecturers on history, which they would have been without a Divine call, but missionaries of a gospel.

3. Their own sanctified impulse. They could not but, out of the love of Him who had died for them and rose again, declare the things they had seen and heard.

III. ITS METHOD.

1. It was not simple declaration. Merely to say that they saw Jesus, etc., would have excited interest, stimulated inquiry, imparted information, and perhaps have founded a school, but would never have converted a soul or established a Church.

2. It was persuasive preaching. Their aim was not merely to secure belief in certain truths, but to save souls; and so "it has pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe." How faithful, earnest, telling, and successful this preaching was these early sermons testify.

IV. ITS REARING ON OURSELVES.

1. We are not eyewitnesses, but we may be heart witnesses. We have not seen Christ's physical miracles, but we may be the subjects of His spiritual miracles. We have not seen the crucifixion, but we may receive the atonement. We are not witnesses of Christ's resurrection, but we may feel its power.

2. Being heart witnesses, we are bound to testify what we feel.

(J. W. Burn.)

1. We look for boldness in St. Peter; and we find it in those words, "We are witnesses," etc. He takes upon himself and his colleagues all the responsibility; they are prepared to stand by the truth of the facts which they allege. We feel the value of this emphatic announcement; miracles, to be believed at all, must be believed on testimony which is beyond suspicion and which cannot be shaken.

2. Then, for his delicacy, we find it in the suppression of all reference to the part which Romans took in the crucifixion of our Lord; no word of Pontius Pilate, or Roman soldiers, or sentinels over the tomb. Any one who read the account for the first time would conclude that none but Jews and dwellers in Jerusalem had a hand in His death; especially as the nailing to the Cross, which was essentially a Roman punishment, is softened down to the expression, "hanged on a tree," which was as essentially a Jewish. He might well spare the feelings of such men as he saw before him; men in spirit, as well as in fact, utterly guiltless of the blood of Jesus.

3. And for the apostle's candour, we trace it in his assertion that God had shown the risen Saviour "not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us." "An announcement," as Paley remarks, "which no impostor would ever have made."

(E. T. Marshall, M. A.)

Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses
There is no article of the Christian faith more necessary to be embraced, more undeniably to be proved than that of Christ's resurrection. But our modern unbelievers have been at the woeful pains to furnish the world with arguments against this fundamental article of the Christian faith, the overturning of which they too well know would be no less than the entire extirpation of all religion. Happy had it been, say they, for the Christian cause in general if the proof of Christ's resurrection had been made a little more public. For whatever may be said in apology for St. Thomas's incredulity, it cannot be doubted but that, had our Lord appeared personally to the high priests and rulers after He was risen, made an open entry into Jerusalem, and frequented the temple and other places of public concourse, that every eye might see Him, He would have given the world fuller satisfaction than in remitting us to the testimony of His apostles, who were all His own creatures, and consequently evidences against whom we may make a just exception. But let us answer this vain objection, and see whether the privacy of Christ's resurrection was not more agreeable to the majesty of the Almighty, and also no less convincing to those who were in any tolerable disposition to be satisfied.

1. And there is no one will deny but upon the certainty of Christ's resurrection lies all the stress of the Christian religion, and likewise that all necessary means of convincing the world of the truth, and confirming them in the reality of it, were highly expedient; but then it should be remembered that Christ now, after His resurrection, was not to condescend to any action beneath the majesty of His Divine nature, which He had then more fully assumed. And, besides, of all men living, none ever had, or could render themselves more unworthy of this extraordinary, I had almost said unnecessary, way of conviction than the unbelieving Jews and chief priests. Another thing let me observe to you. They had long rejected all the evidence our Saviour had given them, and when they could not directly deny the truth of any of the miracles He wrought, they rather chose to impute them to the assistance of darkness; and can it with any justice be urged that such men should again be favoured with such a visitation, especially after His summoning Lazarus from the grave, which was so far from removing their prejudice that they after even waxed more inveterate against Him.

2. Again, let us suppose that our Lord had made His personal appearance before the high priests and rulers after He was risen, yet, if you remember, how little they were moved and affected with the relation of the centurion at His death, and with that of the soldiers at His resurrection, with the shock the whole frame of nature felt, and when everything else was moved, except themselves, can you imagine they would immediately have been convinced, and worshipped what they so lately had scoffed and crucified.

3. Suppose, then, He had made this public entrance, and they had been convinced of His Divinity, what sort of creatures must we conceive them to have been, able to sustain themselves under this shock? Something more inhuman than we can imagine them. Could flesh and blood behold the glorified Son of the Most High, whom just before it had arraigned, condemned, and executed, and live? The more of majesty and terror He had appeared in, the greater, and more insupportable, must have been their dread, and the more of love and compassion the greater and more abundant their confusion.

4. Now the method which our Saviour took, and the account the Scriptures give us of it, was neither attended with any of these inconveniencies, which would otherwise have happened, nor any ways defective to procure our assent. He neither exposed Himself to fresh insults nor laid the Jews under a necessity on the one hand of adding still to their sin by denying Him in His glorified Person, nor endangered their lives on the other by exhibiting to their view the reproach that a late crucified, but then eternally crowned Jesus, would have been to them. As to that expression used by our modern unbeliever, wherein he calls the apostles creatures of our Saviour, and consequently evidences against whom exception might justly be taken, I say it is unfair and ungenerous. Every circumstance proves they actually were as St. Peter, in the words of my text, styles them, "Witnesses chosen before of God," and they not only called themselves so, but likewise were enabled to confirm the same by undeniable demonstrations of such power as could only be given them by Him whose witnesses they were.

(S. Eccles, M. A.)

Why did not our Saviour show Himself after His resurrection to all the people? Why only to witnesses chosen before of God? Because this was the most effectual means of propagating His religion through the world.

I. Consider what would have been the PROBABLE EFFECT OF A PUBLIC EXHIBITION OF HIS RESURRECTION. Suppose our Saviour had shown Himself as openly as before He suffered crucifixion, preaching in the temple, talking to His disciples, etc., the people would perhaps have shouted hosannas once more, but the impression would soon have passed away; and then only a few of the multitude would have had an opportunity of testing the reality of the fact that He had risen. In all probability they would have denied the miracle.

II. He showed Himself to a few, BECAUSE, HUMANLY SPEAKING, ONLY A FEW COULD BE MADE INSTRUMENTS. No one could become witnesses of the fact of His resurrection who did not know Him intimately before His death. The apostles alone had this knowledge.

III. Every great change is EFFECTED BY THE FEW, AND NOT BY THE MANY. By satisfying the few, the many would be influenced. The few, thoroughly convinced, become convincers of the many. This is always the case. The twelve apostles overturned the powers of darkness, and established the kingdom of righteousness.

(J. H. Newman, D. D.)

It is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
I. OUR DIVINE MEDIATOR'S POSITION INVOLVES TWO OFFICES. We are not now living under the immediate government of God, but under the reign of the Mediator. Jesus as Mediator has become —

1. Our Judge. "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." "To this end Christ both died, and rose, End revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living, for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." In this capacity Christ has judicial authority over all men, and He will try all of us at the last, as He is even now sitting in judgment upon all our acts and thoughts and intents. We shall each one appear before His great white throne, and if any are condemned, His lips shall say, "Depart, ye cursed"; if any are glorified, from His lips shall proceed the sentence, "Come, ye blessed." That judgment will be authoritative and final.

2. A Saviour. "That through His name whosoever believeth in Him should receive remission of sins." He has the sovereign right of condemnation or justification. He has authority to pass by transgression, His atonement has made it possible for Him to do this in perfect consistency with tits character as Judge. And the same universality which pervades the Mediator's dignified proceedings as Judge is to be seen in His condescending operations as Saviour. He is able to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by Him. Let the two offices dwell together: "He is a just God and a Saviour."

II. BOTH THESE OFFICES REGARD MEN AS SINNERS. I am sick to the death of hearing men talk about the goodness which is latent in human nature. The case of Cornelius makes it evident that the best natural religion needs to be illuminated by revelation, and instructed by the doctrine of the Cross.

1. Christ comes to judge because there are sinners to be judged. If you find me a nation which has no tribunals, no punishments, it must either be the scene of utter anarchy, or else a nation where all obey the law, and such a thing as a criminal is unknown. The setting up of the last great assize, and the making of that assize to have reference to all men, and the appointment of the supremest Person in existence to conduct that assize — all these facts imply guilt somewhere, and abundance of it.

2. Christ comes to save because there are sinners to be saved. He comes to remit sin; but there can be no remission of sins to those who have never transgressed. However wide the "whosoever" is, so wide is the guilt: the remedy measures the disease.

3. Putting the two things together, the very fact that there is a Mediator at all regards man as fallen. God could have dealt with us immediately, without an Intercessor, had we been as the first Adam was before his fall. It is by reason of sin's influence upon the race that it became necessary that there should be a "Daysman that might lay His hand upon both," and deal with God in His Divine Person, and yet deal with fallen man in His humanity.

III. THE QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED BY OUR LORD AS JUDGE MATERIALLY COMFORT US IN LOOKING AT HIM AS SAVIOUR.

1. As Judge, Jesus —(1) Has full authority: He is fully commissioned of God to acquit or to condemn. Oh, then, if He gives me pardon through His blood, it is a free pardon under the King's own hand and seal.(2) Possesses the amplest knowledge. A judge should be the most instructed, or he is not fitted to decide in matters of difficulty and importance. Jesus Christ as Judge is incomparably fit to judge men, for —(a) He knows men thoroughly. He is Himself a Man, and knows all about us by experience as well as by observation.(b) He knows the law. Hath He not said, "Yea, Thy law is within My heart"? No one knows the law of God as Jesus did, for He kept it in every point.(c) He knows what sin is. He has lived among sinners as a Physician, making a specialty of the disease of sin. Though He had no sin of His own, yet all sin was laid on Him.(d) He knows the punishment of sin. A judge must know what penalties to award. Jesus knows this well enough, for He Himself also hath once suffered for sin, the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God.

2. Inasmuch as Christ is qualified to be Judge, it equally qualifies Him to pardon. For —(1) He knows thee thoroughly, and can cleanse thee thoroughly. He knows the law, and therefore He knows how legally to acquit, so that no further question can be raised. Since He knows the penalty, because He has borne it all, He will take care that none of it shall ever fall on us. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect since God hath justified?(2) All the personal qualifications of our Lord as Judge remarkably tend to make the pardon of His people the more blessedly clear, for as a Judge He is very just. "Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness." Well, then, when He forgives it must be just to forgive.

IV. OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE FIRST OFFICE OF THE MEDIATOR IS NECESSARY TO OUR ACCEPTANCE OF HIM IN HIS SECOND CAPACITY. This was why Peter preached it; this was why Paul before Felix reasoned concerning righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come. This is why the Holy Spirit Himself convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. If you do not believe in Christ as your Judge, you never will accept Him as your Saviour.

V. THE SAVING WORK OF CHRIST'S MEDIATORIAL OFFICE IS THAT WHICH CONCERNS US MOST AT THIS PRESENT TIME.

1. Note the words, "Shall receive remission of sins." What is this? It is the causing of sin to cease to be. God in wondrous mercy is prepared to forget your sin, to blot it out, to cast it behind His back, to cast it into the depths of the sea.

2. Note that this is to be done in Christ's name. There is no other name in which pardon can be bestowed.

3. This is to be had through faith.

4. This blessed news has reference to everyone in the whole world that will believe in Jesus.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE MESSAGE.

1. This begins with the assurance that there is a moral government. There is a Judge over the race of men. Men are not permitted to do whatsoever is right in their own eyes. The race is not left to anarchy: Jesus Christ is Head of all.

2. We have to go on to say that there will be a judgment. Consider —(1) The character of God. Being the Ruler of the world, He must do justice. We should count any man a miserable counterfeit of a monarch if he never administered justice. And "the Father who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's works" will not permit offenders to insult His laws with impunity.(2) The character of man equally involves a judgment, for he is evidently a responsible being. We count not the cattle of the hills or the fish of the sea responsible; no one blames the wolf that he ravens, or the lion that he devours; but when we come to think of man, we regard him as a creature whose actions have a moral quality about them, and are either right or wrong. Surely, where there is responsibility there is a law, and where there is a law there must, some day or other, be rewards for well-doers and punishments for malefactors.(3) The present tangled condition of the world's history requires that there should be a day of rectification at the end of time. We often see the wicked prosper, while the righteous are abased. The Judge of all the earth must do right; and how can this be but by a final adjustment in which it shall be clearly seen that, though the wicked prosper for a while, they are as bullocks fattening for the slaughter; and though the righteous suffer for a while, it is but as the gold suffers in the furnace, that it may come forth purified?(4) Moreover, there is in the consciences of most a testimony to a coming judgment. I will not say of all men, for I believe that some manage so to drug their self-consciousness as at last to quiet all their fears; but yet the most of men believe in a judgment to come, and in their more thoughtful moods are alarmed thereat.

3. This judgment will be conducted by the Man Christ Jesus. He will be thus enthroned, I suppose, partly because it is involved in His mediatorial office, in which the Lord hath put all things in subjection under His feet. But specially remember that the Judge is the Man Christ Jesus. There must be special reason for this honour done to the manhood of our Lord, or it would not be so continually insisted upon (Daniel 7:13; John 5:22, 27; Matthew 25:31, 32; Matthew 13:41). Be ye sure, then, of His impartiality. He is God, yet Man, having an intense sympathy both with the King and with the subjects.

4. This judgment will concern all mankind. He will judge the quick and dead; that is, those who will be alive at His coming He will judge, as well as those who have already died. The summons will exempt no man. Here and there a criminal escapes the vigilant eye of human law; but there shall be no such instance at the coming of the Lord.

5. A few words concerning this judgment. It will be —(1) A very eminent one. It will be a judgment fixed by the peremptory ordinance of God, for the text saith that He hath "ordained" Jesus to sit as Judge. The whole trial will be most solemnly conducted (1 Thessalonians 4:16).(2) Very searching, into deeds (2 Corinthians 5:10); words (Matthew 12:36); every secret thing (Ecclesiastes 12:14).(3) Very exact. It will proceed upon evidence and documentary testimony, and slander and hearsay will not be mentioned there. "The books were opened."(4) Very severe; for things will not be judged by their outward appearance, but put to thorough test and trial.

6. The sentences will be so just as to be indisputable, and even the condemned will own the justness thereof. That verdict will be final and irreversible. When Jesus has once pronounced it, there will be no appeal, no suing out of a writ of error, no reversal of the decree. "These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

II. THE EVIDENT IMPORTANCE OF THIS MESSAGE.

1. This may be gathered from the text.(1) "He commanded us." Then God must know that there is a great necessity for its being declared.(2) "To preach" — to herald, to proclaim. Lo, we this day precede the great Judge, as the trumpeters go before our judges on assize day, and this is our cry, "He cometh! Jesus, the Judge of quick and dead!"(3) "To testify." Having given the proclamation, we are then to bear witness solemnly, and to speak the fact over and over again for God, adding our own belief that it is surely true.(4) "Unto the people" — not to some few, but to all.

2. There is importance in this from other reasons.(1) It sheds a great light upon the future of the ungodly.(2) It reflects great glory upon Christ. Ye may despise Him, but He is your Master after all.(3) It has a beneficial effect upon our everyday life. I constantly hear people say, "Tell the people about something that has to do with today — about cleanliness and honesty, and all that." But if I want men to live righteously, I know of no motive that can have greater weight than this. You are stewards; you will have to give in your account. Will anybody tell me that this is unpractical? If God will judge men at the last, it behoves men to see how they live today.(4) It has a convincing and awakening power. Men tremble when they hear of judgment to come, and they are led to cry," What must we do to be saved?" This is the plough which makes furrows for the good seed; the surgeon's knife which prepares for the reception of the healing balm. Years ago a gentlewoman had been spending an afternoon at cards, and the evening at a ball. She came home very late, and found her maid servant reading a book. "Ah," said she, "are you still poring over your dull books? They make you moping and melancholy." The lady retired to her chamber, but she slept not. In the night she was troubled, and fell a-weeping. She tossed to and fro; and at length she called her maid. She said, "Madam, what ails you? I thought I left you very merry and well." "Oh," said she, "but I looked over your book, and I only saw one word, but that word stings me: I cannot sleep; I cannot bear it!" "What word was it, madam?" "It was that word 'eternity.' Oh, maid," said she, "it is very well for me to sport and play and waste my time as I have done; but oh, eternity, eternity, eternity! How can I face eternity?" And so that night was turned to prayer. I could wish the like might happen now to many of you.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

This last act of Christ is a special part of His exultation and honour, bestowed upon Him because He is the Son of Man (John 5:27). Wherein we have four things to be distinctly considered —

1. The subject of it, Christ. Judgment is the act of the undivided Trinity. The Father and Spirit judge in respect of authority and consent, but it is the act of Christ in respect of visible management and execution.

2. The object. The quick and dead — i.e., all that at His coming do live, or ever have lived. This is the object personal, and in this is included the real object: viz., all the actions (2 Corinthians 4:5; Romans 2:16).

3. The fountain of this authority is God the Father; for He hath ordained Christ to be the Judge.

4. The infallible truth, or unquestionable certainty of all this. He gave us commandment to preach and testify it to the people. We had it in charge from His own mouth; and dare not hide it. This truth, that our Lord Jesus Christ is ordained by God the Father, to be the Judge of quick and dead, stands upon the firm basis of Scripture authority (John 5:22; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16). Three things will be opened here.

I. First, THE CERTAINTY OF A JUDGMENT. This is truth of firmer establishment than heaven and earth.

1. As the Scriptures aforementioned (with 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36, etc.) do very plainly reveal it: so the justice and righteousness of God require it should be so (Genesis 18:25). Righteousness requires that a difference be made betwixt the righteous and the wicked (Isaiah 3:10). But no such distinction is fully made in this world (Ecclesiastes 7:15; Habakkuk 1:13; Ecclesiastes 3:16, 17; James 5:6. 7).

2. Man is an accountable being. His actions have a relation to a law (Romans 14:12; Matthew 25:14, 15).

3. What need we seek evidence of this truth, further than our own conscience?

II. THE NATURE AND MANNER OF THIS JUDGEMENT.

1. It will be a great and awful day (Jude 1:6). Three things will make it so.(1) The manner of Christ's coming will be awfully solemn (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).(2) Much more the work itself. For it is to judge the secrets of men (Romans 2:16). To sever the tares from the wheat. To make every man's whites and blacks appear.(3) And no less the execution of the sentence.

2. It will be a critical and exact judgment, every man will be weighed to his ounces and drachms. The name of the Judge is the Searcher of Hearts. No hypocrite can escape. Justice holds the balances in an even hand.

3. It will be a universal judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:12; Revelation 20:12).

4. It will be a judgment full of convictive clearness.

5. It will be a supreme and final judgment, from which lies no appeal.

III. THIS JUDGMENT MAKES FOR CHRIST'S HONOUR. For —

1. This act of judging pertaining properly to the kingly office; Christ will be glorified as much in it as He hath been in either of the other. We find but some few glimpses of the kingly office, breaking forth in this world. Now that office will shine as the sun in the midst of the heavens.

2. This will be a display of His glory in the highest, before the whole world (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

3. This will roll away forever the reproach of His death,Inferences: Is Jesus Christ ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead?

1. How great then is the security believers have, that they shall not be condemned in that day. Who shall condemn, when Christ is Judge?

2. How miserable a case will Christless souls be in at that day! They that are Christless now will be speechless, helpless, and hopeless then.

3. How are all concerned to secure their interest in Christ, and therein an eternity of happiness to their own souls, by the work of regeneration?

4. Then look to it, all you that hope to be found of Him in peace, that you avoid those sins and live in the daily practice of those duties which the consideration of that day powerfully persuades you to avoid or practise.(1) See you be meek and patient under all injuries and abuses for Christ's sake (James 5:7-9).(2) Be communicative, public-hearted Christians, studying and devising liberal things for Christ's distressed members (Matthew 25:34, 35).(3) Be watchful and sober, and see that you be not overcharged with the cares and love of this present life (Luke 21:34, 35).(4) Improve all your Master's talents. Take heed of the napkin (Matthew 25:14, 18).(5) But above all, be sincere in your profession (Luke 12:1-3).

(J. Flavel.)

I. THERE IS A JUDGMENT ORDAINED BY GOD AND TO BE DECLARED TO MEN. The Holy Scripture teacheth us —

1. That God hath appointed a determinate time for this judgment. "A day in which He will judge the world in righteousness."

2. That in order to this judgment all the actions of men are with greater exactness registered in books. "The books were opened."

3. That, in order thereto, there shall be a general resurrection of all persons, both just and unjust.

4. That then all persons so raised shall be presented at the bar of our Lord, to answer and undergo their trial.

5. That then and there every thought, word, and work of men shall be thoroughly disclosed and discussed; so that it, together with its due quality and desert, shall plainly appear.

6. That on each man, according to the true quality of his doings, a definitive sentence shall pass, whereby he shall be acquitted or condemned.

7. That according to the purport of this sentence a discrimination shall be made; and to one party a gracious reward; to the other, a sore punishment.

8. That all this shall be transacted in a regular, public, and most solemn manner, in open court, in the face and audience of all the world, before angels and men.

9. That the judgment shall pass to the full conviction and entire satisfaction of all that are present; so that each one concerned therein shall be forced in conscience to acquiesce in his doom, as most just and equal.

II. THE JUDGE ORDAINED; Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. Why it should be so, many reasons may be assigned.

1. It was requisite that the judge should be visible, and audible; such whom the parties concerned might discern and converse with, in order to their clearer and fuller satisfaction, or conviction: such our Lord, the Son of man, clothed with glorified flesh, will be.

2. This Judgeship is a good part of that regal office which God did confer on Christ; giving Him a power over all flesh, all authority in heaven and earth.

3. It is an office of too great eminence to be imparted to any other. "Worthy is He alone to receive the book."

4. He alone also capacities proper for this judicature: that Divine faculty of searching men's hearts; wisdom to know all matters of fact that ever were, and to discern the right in every case; absolute goodness, perfect equity and immutable love of right, and that exact temperament of affection toward men which is requisite to the distribution of equal justice toward them, according to due measures of mercy and severity.

5. By this designate on the glory of God is especially promoted: His wisdom appeareth in constituting one so in all respects most fit to discharge the office; and His goodness, for since it was requisite that a judgment should pass on us, how could the terror thereof be better allayed than by putting it into the hands of His Son? How also could He exhibit a more illustrious instance of His justice and love to righteousness than in advancing Him to so glorious an office, who, out of perfect compliance to His will, did freely stoop so low, and gladly undergo so much?

6. Just it likewise was that to Him should be consigned a power to reward His friends and do Himself right on His enemies.

7. This appointment is conducible to our edification.(1) It is apt to raise in us a high reverence of our Saviour; and consequently to dispose us to the observance of His laws and imitation of His example.(2) It is a matter of special comfort and encouragement to consider that hence assuredly we shall find a fair and favourable trial; since it is no enemy, but our best friend.

III. THE OBJECTS, OR THE EXTENT OF THE JUDGMENT ORDAINED. All, without exception.

IV. APPLICATION: The doctrine is calculated —

1. To make us circumspect and vigilant; for, since we must render an account of every thought, word, and action, what exceeding reason have we, with most attentive and accurate regard, to mind whatever we do!

2. To beget and preserve sincerity in us. What a folly is it to delude men with false appearances, or rather by them to abuse themselves; seeing they soon will be rightly informed, and we grievously disgraced for it!

3. To render us serious in all our thoughts, opinions, affections, actions; suppressing all proud conceits, all admiration of these transitory things, all wanton joys; for —(1) Why should any apprehension of worldly state, of any endowment, puff up our minds, seeing the day is near at hand which will quite level men?(2) Why should we value those splendid toys, or that sordid trash, which men here do so eagerly scramble for; which then evidently will be discountenanced?(3) Why, having affairs on foot of such vast importance, should we amuse ourselves with trivial matters?(4) How shall we dare to embrace the serpent of sinful excess?(5) And how can we be easily transported into wild merriments, if we consider how infinitely serious business lieth on us; how nearly our everlasting welfare lieth at stake?

4. To engage us carefully to improve all the talents by God's providence and grace committed to us. Hath God bestowed —(1) Wealth on us? this will engage us so to use it in God's service.(2) Power? this should induce us to use it moderately and fruitfully.(3) Any parts, wit, knowledge? this should move us to employ them in drawing men to the practice of virtue and piety.(4) Honour or credit among men? this may oblige us to use it as an instrument of bringing honour to God.

5. To induce us to the observing strict justice and equity in all our dealings. "Let no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter, because God will judge and avenge for all these things."

6. To breed charity in us; in giving, in forgiving, in judging and censuring of men.

7. To support and comfort us, as against all other wrongful dealing, so against all unjust and uncharitable censures, groundless slanders and surmises, undeserved reproaches of men; for that assuredly at that judgment right will be done, and innocence cleared.

8. To preserve us from being deluded and poisoned by the more favourable opinions of men. For "God seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart."

9. To encourage us to "judge ourselves so that we be not judged," or not condemned with the world.

10. To guard us from infidelity and from impatience in regard to the providential dispensation of affairs here. "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."

(I. Barrow, D. D.)

Whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.
Homilist.
I. THE BLESSING CONFERRED — "Remission of sins." Remission is to remove the guilt of sin, that the punishment of it may not be inflicted upon the sinner. God alone can fully forgive sins in this way; and He does it eminently, so that not a vestige of it remains. Remission implies —

1. An offence, and consequently an offender. We have offended God.

2. A sovereign act. It is a pure act of grace and love.

3. A complete and perfect act. He does not forgive the greater offences and omit the smaller ones; neither does He forgive the smaller and leave the greater ones unpardoned.

II. THE UNLIMITED NATURE OF THE BLESSING. "Whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins." The qualification necessary in the recipient of the blessing is to believe. This includes penitence for the past offences, and a full reliance on Christ for pardon. There is no respect of persons — "Whosoever." This may be regarded alike in respect to nations, in respect to class, and in respect to moral character.

1. The Jews were still "slow of heart to believe" that the Gentiles were to be partakers of the grace of the gospel. There is no distinction of race or colour of skin. "Whosoever believeth" among all nations, and languages, and tribes, and shades of mankind, shall receive remission of sins.

2. As the blessing of forgiveness is applicable to all nations, so it is also to all classes.

3. Moral character does not exclude from the blessing. Some have run to a greater "excess of riot" than others; still there is no distinction made.

III. THE MEDIUM THROUGH WHICH THE BLESSING IS CONVEYED — "Through His name." God could not, consistently with His justice and holiness, forgive sins without atonement.

IV. THE UNIVERSAL TESTIMONY BORNE BY THE ANCIENT PROPHETS TO THE FACT THAT SIN MUST BE FORGIVEN THROUGH CHRIST — "To Him give all the prophets witness." Soon after the entrance of sin it was intimated that it should be remitted through the Saviour. The door of hope was opened when God said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman." We refer to some of the prophecies on this point. Isaiah tells us — "He was wounded for our transgressions...and with His stripes we are healed." "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied; by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities." Jeremiah says — "This is His name, the Lord our Righteousness." We see, then, that Christ is the medium of communication between God and man. If we shall be reconciled to God it must be through Him.

(Homilist.)

It was John Berridge who thanked God for "that blessed word 'whosoever,'" in the gospel invitations and promises. "If it had been written, 'John Berridge may come,' there might have been a doubt as to who was meant by it; for there may be a hundred John Berridges in the world. Rut with that word 'whosoever' just there, there is no room for questioning." Whosoever will, may come. Whosoever comes, shall receive. If you or yours are without remission of sins, whose fault is it?

To accept pardon and its peace, not from any perception of God's power to pardon, but from the conviction that love carries pardon with it; to accept it as the inevitable consequence of gratitude and growing affection; to accept it, feeling the preciousness and sweetness of the Divine paternal love; to accept it, and by it to be led through sickness and trials of every kind; to accept it, and find that it is enough for every emergency; to accept it, and feel that it is all, and in all — if that does not fashion the character more potently than conscience and reason, then character is no more the effect of a cause, and cause and effect are disjoined.

The best sermon is that which is fullest of Christ. A Welsh minister, when preaching at the chapel of Jonathan George, was saying that Christ was the sum and substance of the gospel, and he broke out into the following story: — "A young man had been preaching in the presence of a venerable divine, and after he had done he foolishly went to the old minister and inquired, 'What do you think of my sermon, sir?' 'A very poor sermon indeed,' he replied. 'A poor sermon! it took me along time to study it.' 'Ay, no doubt of it.' 'Why, then, do you say it is poor: did you not think my explanation of the text to be accurate? ' 'Yes.' 'Were not the metaphors correct and the arguments conclusive?' 'Yes.' 'Why, then, do you say that it was a poor sermon?' 'Because there was no Christ in it.' 'Well, there was no Christ in the text, we are not to be preaching Christ always, we must preach what is in the text.' So the old man said, 'Don't you know, young man, that from every town, village, and hamlet in England, there is a road to London?'" and so from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of the Scriptures — that is Christ, and my dear brother, your business is, when you get to a text, to say, "Now, what is the road to Christ?" then preach a sermon running along that road to Him. 'And,' said he, 'I have never yet found a text that had not a plain and direct road to Christ in it; and if ever I should find one that had no such road, I will make a road, I would go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master.'"

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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