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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Judgment, the Last

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the sentence that will be passed on our actions at the last day when the everlasting designs of God concerning this lower creation shall be accomplished, an end put to time and the destinies of the human race fixed for eternity. This is one of the peculiar doctrines of revelation, a doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There were, indeed, some hints of it in the Old Testament; but it is in the New Testament that we have it frequently and particularly declared and described, with the circumstances with which it will be attended. It is a doctrine, too, which is entirely agreeable to reason, which fully concurs with revelation in directing our minds to a state of retribution, there being no alternative, if we hold not the truth of a judgment to come, but the holding that the creation is not under a moral government. For, on the one hand, there is no doubt that we live under a retributive government, and that cognizance is taken of our actions by an invisible but ever present Being, whose attributes render him the determined foe of vice, and the steadfast upholder of righteousness. On the other hand, there has been an irresistible demonstration, from the experience of all ages, that no accurate proportion is at present maintained between conduct and condition. The wicked triumph in their iniquity, while virtue is despised; her humble votaries are borne down by the gloom of adversity, or reared in the midst of sorrows and tears. In every age of the world, therefore, men have been perplexed by what seemed opposite evidences as to the superintending care of a wise and beneficent Being. The only way to escape the difficulty is an appeal to the future; for either the idea is erroneous of one living under a moral government at all, or that moral government must have another scene of display where its impartiality shall be vindicated, and every discrepancy removed. See Fuller, Works, 2, 78, 106, 152, 211, 367, 392, 437, 841, 859, 871, 883, 906; Dwight, Theology; Irving, Argument for Judgment to come. (See JUDGMENT DAY). (E. de P.)

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Judgment, the Last'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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