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The Seriousness of Life

The Seriousness of Life

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Published by glennpease

BY R. W. CHURCH

"To stand before the Son of Man." ST. LUKE xxi. 36.

BY R. W. CHURCH

"To stand before the Son of Man." ST. LUKE xxi. 36.

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Published by: glennpease on Dec 09, 2013
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12/09/2013

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THE SERIOUSNESS OF LIFE BY R. W. CHURCH "To stand before the Son of Man." ST. LUKE xxi. 36. THE season which begins to-day turns our thoughts to the finishing and winding up of all that we are concerned with in our passage here. It turns our thoughts to the question, what will become of it all, all that we see, all that we do, all that we are ? For ourselves, at least, we know that a great break-up is not very far off. We, at least, each in his own way, we, either abruptly, or by gradual but hardly slow decay, shall pass from the scene and appear here no more. But the interest of life, and of this present state, does not stop at this interruption. That there is something beyond it, that what is and has been here, runs on by connections, certain however un known, into what shall be there, that what has been lost and forgotten here, will assuredly revive and be found in that unknown future, that the judgments and doings of time have yet to pass under a more searching and complete light than any given us now, this, which is the unconquerable instinct of con
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science, is the assurance which comes to us from the & B 2 CATHEDRAL AND UNIVERSITY SERMONS I other world. If goodness and right are more than words, if we are not deceived in acknowledging them as standards of our conduct and masters of our life, there is something to come, not only after, but out of and from what we are all of us doing here. And the word which we believe to be of God tells us, with unswerving earnestness and clearness, what that is. It is to be the completion of that law of righteousness, truth, and mercy, which here is both acknowledged and disobeyed. All things, all characters, all deeds, are to pass under the final review of that law. All that will then happen to any of us will be in subordination to the fulfilment of that perfect  justice. In that world to come a judgment waits for all
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things in this world ; and what is at last to happen to them, and to us all, depends on that judgment. So much was clear in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is chary of speaking of the way in which all this should come to pass. It speaks indeed, but it speaks in mystery, in suggestion, in parable. It speaks so that when our Lord came, the Jews, both the mass of them and the more thoughtful, had learned to believe in a resurrection and a judgment. Yet it speaks so that they who chose to doubt or to deny, could say that it had not forced them to believe ; that its hints were not explicit enough for them. But that in some way or another, God, who made the world, should be its Judge, the Old Testament declared beyond mistake. It is the cry from end to THE SERIOUSNESS OF LIFE end of the Psalms, in every tone, from the most pathetic to the most majestic and most terrible.
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