And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave…
There will assuredly come a day of judgment. The material universe symbolically prophecies some such a moral crisis in the history of man. The flowing river, the growing plants, the breathing tribes, the planetary systems, all tend to a crisis. The unremitting increase from age to age in the human family, viewed in connection with the limited capacity of this planet to sustain animal existence, irresistibly indicates some such a turning point in human history. The universal and concurrent references of the human conscience through all ages and lands, give a high probability to the dawn of such a moral juncture. The Bible settles the question. The sentence preceding the text calls it a great day. It will be "great," on account of the number and variety of the moral beings that will be assembled together; great, on account of the results which will then be effected — redemptive providences ended, and the agencies of a righteous retribution brought into full play; great, on account of the thrilling interest it will awake through all the realms of moral existence the universe over; great, on account of the Divine glories that will then be displayed. But our point now is — Who shall be able to stand on that day? In order to illustrate this solemn question I shall suppose a case. What under a legal charge could enable you to look calmly forward to the coming day of trial, feeling that you could stand? We can only conceive of seven things which would answer this purpose.
I. A CONSCIOUSNESS OF INNOCENCE AND THE POWER OF SHOWING THAT THE CHARGE HAS NO FOUNDATION.
II. ASSURANCE THAT THE EVIDENCE WILL BE FOUND INSUFFICIENT TO CONVICT. There will be —
1. The omniscient Judge. He knows everything about you.
2. There will be present the persons to whom and through whom you have sinned.
3. Then there will be conscience within you bearing the strongest testimony against you.
III. A FEELING THAT THE CRIME WITH WHICH YOU ARE CHARGED IS VERY INSIGNIFICANT. No. Sin, believe me, is no trifling matter.
1. Think of it in its relation to God. It is a violation of the most righteous laws, for He is your Sovereign. It is a violation of the highest trust; for He is your Proprietor, and you are His stewards. It is a violation of the most wonderful love. He is your loving Father — your merciful Redeemer.
2. Think of it in its bearing on yourself and on the universe. "One sinner destroyeth much good." This then will not serve you, will not enable you to stand in the judgment. Another thing that might answer the purpose in the supposed case is: —
IV. A FELT CAPABILITY OF PROVING THAT THE CRIME WAS COMMITTED ACCIDENTALLY, NOT BY PURPOSE.
V. FAITH IN THE SYMPATHY OF THE WHOLE COURT IN YOUR FAVOUR.
VI. AN ABILITY TO PROVE THAT YOU HAVE RENDERED SIGNAL SERVICE TO THE STATE.
VII. THE ASSURANCE THAT SOME ONE HAS SUCCESSFULLY INTERPOSED BETWEEN YOU AND THE SUPERIOR AUTHORITY. On the pages of the Bible I find written in sunbeams, that in consequence of what Christ has done, and is willing to do, for us as sinners, we may escape the sad consequences of our sins, and stand triumphantly in the Day of Judgment.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;