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shall be upon every one that is proud and highminded ; and upon every one that is arrogant, and he shall be humbled.” 1 And again : “Behold, the day of the Lord shall come, a cruel day, and full of indignation, and of wrath, and fury, to lay the land desolate, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it; for the stars of heaven, and their brightness shall not display their light; the sun shall be darkened in his rising, and the moon shall not shine with her light: and I will visit the evils of the world, and against the wicked for their iniquity, and I will make the pride of infidels to cease, and will bring down the arrogancy of the mighty:"? And again, in the twenty-fourth chapter, he thus describes the judgment of God, against the inhabitants of the earth : “Fear, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee, O thou inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he that shall flee from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he that shall rid himself out of the pit shall be taken in the snare; for the floodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth shall be shaken. With breaking shall the earth be broken, with crushing shall the earth be crushed, with trembling shall the earth be moved, with shaking shall the earth be shaken as a drunken man, and shall be removed as the tent of one night; and the iniquity thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass, that in that day the Lord shall visit upon the host of heaven on high, and upon the kings of the earth on the earth; and they shall be gathered together, as in the gathering of one bundle into the pit, and they shall be shut up there in prison, and after 1 Isa. ii. 11, 12.
Ib. xiii. 9, 10, 11.
many days they shall be visited; and the moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Sion in Jerusalem, and shall be glorified in the sight of His ancients.” 1
“ Blow ye the trumpet in Sion," says the prophet Joel ; "sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: because the day of the Lord cometh, because it is nigh at hand. A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and whirlwinds : a numerous and strong people as the morning spread upon the mountains: the like to it hath not been from the beginning, nor shall be after it, even to the years of generation and generation. Before the face thereof a devouring fire, and behind it a burning flame.”? And again :“At His presence the earth hath trembled, the heavens are moved; the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining. And the Lord hath uttered His voice before the face of His army : for His armies are exceeding great, for they are strong and execute His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can stand it?”3
« The mountains tremble at Him," says the prophet Nahum, “and the hills are made desolate; and the earth hath quaked at His presence, and the world and all that dwell therein : who can stand before the face of His indignation ? and who shall resist in the fierceness of His anger? His indignation is poured out like fire, and the rocks are melted by it?"
“The great day of the Lord is near," says the prophet Sophonias, “it is near and exceeding 1 Is. xxiv. 17-23.
2 Joel ü. 1, 2, 3. 3 Ib. ii. 10, 11.
4 Nah, i. 5, 6.
THE END OF THE WORLD.
swift; the voice of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man shall there meet with tribulation. That day is a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery, a day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and whirlwinds." 1
The wise man thus describes the character of Christ, and the triumph of His coming : “He will put on justice as a breastplate, and will take true judgment instead of a helmet. He will take equity for an invincible shield : and He will sharpen His severe wrath for a spear, and the whole world shall fight with Him against the unwise. Then shafts of lightning shall go directly from the clouds, as from a bow well bent, they shall be shot out, and shall fly to the mark. And thick hail shall be cast upon them from the stonecasting wrath : and the water of the sea shall
rage against them, and the rivers shall run together in a terrible manner. A mighty wind shall stand up against them, and as a whirlwind shall divide them: and their iniquity shall bring all the earth . to a desert, and wickedness shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty."
The apostle St. Paul, in allusion to this glorious event, thus writes to Timothy :-“I charge thee before God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession, that thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Mighty, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. to whom be honour and empire everlasting.” Soph. i. 14, 15.
2 Wisd. v. 19-24. 31 Tim. vi. 13–16.
ON THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS WHICH WILL ACCOM
PANY THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.
The day of the Lord so often mentioned in Holy Scripture, will begin immediately upon the second coming of Christ.
As soon as the King of Immortal Glory shall return to the earth, having received a kingdom with the principality on his shoulders, the present era will pass away, and a new one will begin, which will especially be an era of great triumph and glory for Christ and His saints. It is probable that this new era, during which the wonderful things predicted in Holy Writ concerning the judgment of the living and the dead are to be fulfilled, will not be confined to a few hours or days, but will embrace a considerable period of time. “ It is uncertain,' writes St. Augustine, "for how many days this judgment shall last. But any one who has read the Holy Writings, well knows that it is customary in them to use the word day to signify a time.”1
The principal events which will accompany Christ's second coming are as follows: 1. The burning of the earth. 2. The binding of Satan. 3. The first resurrection. 4. The change of the just still living and their union with Christ.
i Per quot dies hoc judicium tendatur incertum est; sed scripturarum more sanctarum diem poni solere pro tempore, nemo qui illas litteras quamlibet negligenter legerit nescit. (St. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. xx. cap. i.)
THE BURNING OF THE EARTH.
As the world which existed previous to the flood was destroyed by a deluge of water, so the present world is destined to be destroyed by a deluge of fire at the second coming of Christ. This is expressly taught by the apostle St. Peter, in his second epistle, where he says: “In the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers walking after their own lusts, saying: Where is His promise or His coming ? for since the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they are wilfully ignorant of, that the heavens were before, and the earth, out of water, and through water, consisting by the word of God. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of the ungodly men. But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord delayeth not His promise, as some imagine, but dealeth patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance. But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it shall be burnt up.” 1
1 2 Pet. iii.