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The Coming of the Son of Man.

The Coming of the Son of Man.

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by R. ROTHE,

And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great
glory. S. Luke xxi. 27.
by R. ROTHE,

And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great
glory. S. Luke xxi. 27.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 28, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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The Coming of the Son of Man. by R. ROTHE, And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. S. Luke xxi. 27. THE Collect which is said daily throughout Advent reminds us of the two Advents or Comings of Christ — -that when He * came to visit us in great humility,"" and that which shall take place at the end of the world. As the First Sunday in Advent directed our thoughts to the Incarnation, the coming of the Son of God in lowliness and meekness, as imaged by His demeanour and surround- ings as He entered into Jerusalem before the Passion ; so the Second Sunday in Advent leads us to contemplate * the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.' I. Let us examine for a moment why it is we find it difficult to grasp the truth of the Second Coming of Christ to judgment. It is one of the mysteries of the Christian Faith, and one not easy of belief, or, at least, of realisation. What is a mystery ? It is not something to be relegated to the sphere of poetry. The mysteries are not mere embellishments of Christianity ; they form its essence. either are they nebulous truths which lend a beauty to the Gospel narrative, like the haze which charms us in Turner's pictures. A mystery is a truth, a part of which is clear and visible, whilst there are regions which stretch out, like the ocean, beyond the ken of man, into boundless space. Such truths are to be found in the sphere of nature as well as in that of grace; but in the one case, they are known by the exercise of the natural faculties, in the other, they are believed on the authority of testimony. Ill SECOD SUDAY I ADVET The invstory of the Second Advent, if viewed in itself, is a more
difficult article of faith than any of those which concern the events of Christ's Life on earth, and which are commemorated in the Christian Seasons. Perhaps one reason for this is the futurity of the mystery. Faith reposes more readily on fact than on promise. Moreover, the imagination finds it hard to depict that of which we have no experi- ence. Of birth and life, of suffering and death, we have fellowship with our Redeemer. The mysteries of the Incarnate life on earth are supernatural truths, but they are like gems enclosed in a natural setting. The mother and her child, the boyhood of azareth, the public ministry, the Passion and Resurrection, are encircled with the incidents of natural life ; but the Coming to Judgment seems to be an event altogether supernatural and transcendent. The scene is so majestic that our faculties stagger as they strive to realise it. The opening graves, the sea giving up its dead, the whole human race assembling, — not one tenant of the tomb forgotten ; the angels, pure and blessed spirits, a myriad host; evil spirits too — for they are 'reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day ' — all gathering for ' the great assize ' ; and, then, above all, the Glory of the Son of Man, — all this forms a picture of an event so stupendous, so awful, so beyond the reach of human experi- ence, that we have great need to make frequent acts of faith in that Mystery which is predicted in the Gospel for to-day. II. The Church, which is ' the pillar and ground of the truth,' has from the beginning made the Second Advent of Christ to judge the world an essential part of her creed. There are few truths which are so fully delivered to us in the Word of God as the coming of our Lord to judgment. The vision of ' the Great day ' was before the minds of the prophets. ' Enoch,' S. Jude tells us, ' the seventh from Adam, prophesied . . . saying. Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints, to execute  judgment upon all.' Isaiah points on to the time when those who ' dwell in dust ' shall * awake,' and ' the earth shall cast out the dead.' Daniel foresees the assembled hosts before the throne, and 'the judg- ment set, and the books opened,' and 'one like the Son of Man' coming ' with the clouds of heaven.' Joel and Malachi foretell ' the great and dreadful day of the Lord.' From the beginning they look on to the end. From the dawn the inspired eye kindles as it sees, across the hills of time, the track of Christ's glory, the close of this
world's day. The ear of the prophet across the chasm of ages catches the sound of His chariot-wheels, and the shout which shall awake the dead. May we not find in our moral nature another ground for expecting a day of final account ? The soul of man is, in the sense in which an \\% OUTLIES O THE GOSPEL old writer used the words, ' naturally Christian,"' in that the truths of Christianity meet its primary needs and affections, its hopes and fears, and supply them with their true objects and satisfactions. ' Man alone is able to be judged, for he, of all living creatures, alone is lord of his own actions.' He has, that is, the power of free-will, and is responsible for what he does or neglects to do. Through the posses- sion of this self-determining power, we are accountable to God for our actions. We have a conscience which tells us when we do right or wrong, a portent of that judgment to come. The voice of con- science certainly implies that we are accountable to One for all we do. The truth that ' every one of us must give an account of himself to God' finds a response, then, in my inmost being. In my conscience I discover an anticipation and prophecy of the mystery which the Church and the Scriptures alike reveal to man -—the coming judgment W. H. HUTCHIGS, Sermons for the People, p. 40. The SouFs Welcome of Christ the Test of its Spiritual Condition. When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads ; for your redemption draweth nigh. S. Luke xxi. 28. I. '"T^HE most frightful changes on the earth— wars, famines, pesti-

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