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Gentile nations. Many of the heathen, in the remotest parts of the earth, shall become the willing subjects of my kingdom; and the time shall arrive when they shall come from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south,' and enjoy the high felicity of holding intercourse with the most renowned and pious of your

ancestors. They shall sit down at the heavenly banquet among the rest, with Abraham, the father of the faithful, in whom ye are accustomed to boast; with Isaac, the child of promise; and with Jacob, whose holy and persevering ardour in prayer was such as to obtain for him the name of Israel. But do not, at the same time, suppose, that they will be able to distinguish these individuals, or any others, in the mansions of bliss. Although they shall, indeed, be guests in common with them at the table of my Father, they will not be conscious of being in the society of those who were distinguished patriarchs on earth, nor shall they ever know them as such, though they shall dwell and converse with them for ever in the kingdom of heaven."

Such is the import of the language we must ascribe to the Saviour, on the supposition that he did not intend us to believe that the three patriarchs referred to will be known to the gentile converts, who are to participate with them in the happiness of the life to come. And if they will not

be unknown to strangers belonging to different parts and ages of the world from those in which it was their lot to live, much more may we conclude that they will be known to each other, and be joyfully recognised by those of their contemporaries, who were united in holy fellowship with them in the days of their earthly pilgrimage.

The passage in question, therefore, extends its evidence beyond the immediate point in support of which it is presented to our notice. For not only does it encourage us to believe that recognition, in the strict sense of the word, will take place amongst the just, but it gives us reason to conclude, that the most distinguished and holy men, belonging to the most distant ages and countries, who never had the opportunity of beholding each other " in the flesh," will become known to one another, and to the rest of the heavenly inhabi

ants; and that their fellowship, enlivened by mutual recollections, will constitute one of the chief sources of future happiness.

MATT. XIX. 28.

“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me in the regeneration (in the renovation of all things, ļv Tadıyyeveoia), when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”


It is evident, as the pious Doddridge has observed, in his excellent Commentary, that our Lord refers, in these words, to the time of final retribution, which he elsewhere mentions as that in which he should “ sit upon the throne of his glory.” And, thus understood, the passage contains a promise, by which the twelve apostles were assured, that, notwithstanding their humiliation and sufferings in the service of God, they would be peculiarly distinguished and honoured on the great day of accounts. Nothing short of this can be intended by the declaration that they should

sit upon twelve thrones ;” and if such marks of distinction are conferred upon them, it is most reasonable to suppose that they will recognise each other, and become known as the apostles of Jesus Christ. This conclusion is strengthened, and the general principle involved in it, more fully established, by adverting to what is further said respecting them. They are to become assessors in the judicial proceedings of the last day towards the tribes of Israel. Whatever may be the nature of their office, or in whatever manner it may

be performed, it must include the knowledge of individuals, and of their relation to the present world. In other words, the apostles must know the persons submitted to their jurisdiction to be the twelve tribes of Israel, and it is equally plain that the Israelites must, on the other hand, be aware that their judges are the twelve apostles. But if this be admitted, what should hinder the individuals of either party from becoming known to one another? And, in the face of such evidence, on what ground can the belief of a general recognition, amongst friends and contemporaries, be reasonably called in question?

MATT. XXV. 40.

“And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

We have already observed, that the principle of perpetuated consciousness, and of future recognition, is involved in the responsibility of man, and the consequent doctrine of a general judgment. In the passage adduced, and throughout the whole of the paragraph, from which, as a specimen, it is selected, we accordingly find this principle fully recognized by our Lord, as it respects the decisions of the great day. “The individuals of the assembled generations, of the entire human race, are represented as severally retaining a perfect knowledge of their earthly proceedings. To that knowledge the judge appeals. On the attestation of that knowledge the sentence is grounded. Let it, then, be considered, that the recollection, in the case of an individual, of his personal deeds and desires, good and evil, necessarily involves recollection on his part, of a great number of other individuals, and of actions, and wishes, of which they were the objects. Concerning very few transgressions, comparatively speaking, of the law of God, can it be said that they have not had in the mind of the transgressor an intentional bearing on some other person. Is the sin, for example, covetousness? It is the coveting of the property of a specific individual. Is it envy, or malice, or robbery, or slander, or deceit? The sin is meditated, or practised, with a purpose of injury to a particular person. Is it pride or rivalry? It is directed against persons whom the sinner contemplates as coming into comparison or competition with himself. Frequently, too, the sinner pursues his plan of evil, in confederation with associates in the guilt. With the obviously requisite changes, all these positions may be in substance transferred to good actions and good designs. These indispensable recollections are possessed by every indivi. dual placed before the tribunal of Christ. Of the persons whom they respect, all are standing by the side of the offender, confronted with him, and

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