THE JUDGMENT OF THE DEAD.
He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin " (i Jno. i. 5–10: ii. 1). Saints are forgiven if they walk in the light; otherwise they are not.
It is a great and consoling truth, that the saints have "an advocate with the Father." If they had not, they would be in a worse case than sinners, for it is bad not to know the truth; but it is worse to know it, and not to walk in the light of it. If they had no advocate with the Father, few of them indeed, fewer than the few that will be chosen, would be saved. But, because they have an, advocate, some of them will be saved; but of sinners, none. Through this advocate, "Jesus Christ the righteous one," the Father will forgive the sins of all saints, which are not unto death (1 Jno. v. 16). Mortal sins, however, He will not pardon. No amount of confession will obtain the remission of these. The advocate will not plead for saints who commit such offences (Eph. v. 3, 6; Gal. v. 19, 21). Their fate is shame, contempt, and exclusion from incorruptibility and life in the kingdom of the Deity. "They shall not see life; but the wrath of Deity abideth on them " (Jno. iii. 36).
But when are venial sins committed by saints forgiven? As soon, says Protestant tradition, as they are repented of and confessed. This it regards as "giving account"; and it might be added, as settling the account to the satisfaction of the debtor, who indignantly repudiates the idea of having to give account at the judgment seat, which he regards as settling a debt twice over! "There is no sense in it," says he; "and if such is to be the order of things, I would rather be in the grave and never leave it more!"
It is no use, however, getting fretted at the Deity's plans and purposes. The question is not what we would rather do, but what He has appointed. He has answered the question in the Mosaic "parable," which is "the pattern of the things in the heavens." In this He shows that, while the High Priest, or Advocate, is in the most holy place, the people are without, engaged in confession and prayer, waiting and looking for the appearing. They knew not whether their confession of sins and supplications for forgiveness were favourably responded to, or not, until the advocate came forth to bless them in the appointed form (Numb. vi. 23). Upon the pronunciation of the benediction, which was the judgment in the case, they were relieved of all anxiety, and were now prepared to rejoice before Jehovah in the ensuing feast of tabernacles. Thus, "as it was appointed for the men (or Aaronic High Priests), once to die (symbolically in entering through the Veil with sacrificial blood), but after