Matthew 25:31. When, &c. The same great truth, that there is no such thing as negative goodness, which was shown, 1st, in the parable of the virgins; 2d, in the still plainer parable of the servants who had received the talents; is here shown a third time, in a direct unparabolical declaration of the manner in which our Lord will proceed at the last day. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, &c. With what majesty and grandeur does Christ here speak of himself! giving us one of the noblest instances of the true sublime. Indeed, not many descriptions in the sacred writers themselves seem equal to this. We can hardly read it without imagining ourselves before the awful tribunal it describes. He styles himself the Son of man here, because, when he appears as the great Judge, he will appear in the human form, and as very man, as he is, being to judge the sons of men. For by being of the same nature with those whom he judges, and having shared with them in human infirmity, he is the more proper for the office of their judge. But no one that reads this can reasonably suppose that he who speaks thus is a mere man. He is termed the Son of man, too, because his wonderful condescension in taking upon him our nature, and becoming the Son of man, will be recompensed by his exaltation in that day. For he shall come, not only in the glory of his Father, but in his own glory as mediator. His first coming was under a dark cloud of obscurity; but his second will be in a bright cloud of glory. Doubtless if his disciples understood and believed what he here declares concerning his future glory, it would help them to meet with fortitude the offence of the cross, and prepare them for the approaching scene of his humiliation and sufferings. To manifest his glory still more, all the holy angels, who had long been subject to him as his ministering servants, shall now come along with him, and that not only for state, as his attendants, but for service, as ministers of his justice. They shall come to summon the court; to gather together the elect, to sever the wicked from the just, to be witnesses of the saints’ glory, Luke 12:8; and of the sinners’ misery, Revelation 19:10. Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory A throne high and lifted up, and conspicuous to the eyes of the whole assembled world; the throne of judgment, very different from the throne of grace, upon which he now sits, with his Father, and to which we may come boldly.
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