Jean Baptiste Massillon
On the Last Day
- "On the Last Day" as published in Massilon's Sermons for all the Sundays and Festivals Throughout the Year (1807)
- "And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud in great power and majesty" Luke, xxi. 27.
Thus, my beloved friends, shall the revolutions and kingdoms of this world be brought to a conclusion for ever. Thus shall end all the earthly pursuits which either amused us by their novelty, or seduced us by their charms. Thus shall the Son of Man come. Thus shall be ushered in the great day of his manifestation, the beginning of his reign, the complete redemption of his mystical body. On this day the consciences of all mankind shall be exposed to view a day of calamity and despair to the sinner, but of peace, joy, and consolation to the just. On this day the eternal lot of the whole world shall be decided.
- Man, during his abode in this world, knows not his own heart. Self-love spreads a veil over his imperfections, and conceals the knowledge of his true state, both from himself and from others. But on this day he shall be seen in his true dress, both by himself and by all mankind. The just man is disregarded and despised in this world: he is subjected in a great measure to the will of the sinner; his life is esteemed folly, and his end without honour. He, likewise, shall be seen in his true light on this day, and shall be honoured before the whole world with that honour to which his merits are entitled.
- In this life we never behold the true state of our interior: our attention is engaged by the few serious sentiments with which we are occasionally animated; and the judgment which we form of ourselves is generally influenced by the last impressions which are made upon our minds.
- Then shall you see the true state of your souls: then shall their secret avenues, their hidden affections, their depraved appetites, be all laid open to your view: then shall their unlawful desires, their hatreds and animosities, their vitiated and impure intentions, their criminal projects, which were overlooked because they proved abortive, and all their other vices, be displayed before you.
- The sinner is oftentimes raised to honours and dignities, whilst the just man is obliged to tread the lowly paths of subjection and submission to his orders. On this great day, these evils shall be fully rectified. The sinner shall be separated from the just, as soon as the book of conscience is displayed: and the honours and the dignities of the Heavenly Jerusalem shall be conferred on the deserving the true and faithful servants of the Lord.
- What a consolation will it be to the just, to have the secrets of their hearts finally revealed! Their perfections were concealed from men in this world. They were known to God alone. They were unknown even to themselves; for humility had concealed from their view the beauty and innocence of their interior, and had displayed before their eyes only the few blemishes and imperfections to which human nature is unavoidably exposed. But now the veil shall be withdrawn, and their secret storehouse of merits shall be thrown open to the inspection of all. With what astonishment will the great assembly of the sons of men behold the triumphs of these humble servants of God! their hitherto concealed victories over the world, the flesh, and the Devil…
- Things will be restored to their proper order. The guilty will not triumph; will not escape the general opprobrium, nor the punishment which is due to their crimes: and an ample recompense will be given to the just man, in the clear and distinct view of an astonished and admiring universe.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
- Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- Time is short, your obligations are infinite. Are your houses regulated, your children instructed, the afflicted relieved, the poor visited, the work of piety accomplished?
- p. 5.
- God should be the object of all our desires, the end of all our actions, the principle of all our affections, and the governing power of our whole souls.
- p. 257.
- Admit their maxims, and the universe returns to a frightful chaos; all things are thrown into disorder upon the earth; all the notions of virtue and vice are overthrown; the most inviolable laws of society are abolished: the discipline of morality is swept away; the government of states and empires ceases to be subject to any rule; the whole harmony of political institutions is dissolved; and the human race becomes an assemblage of madmen, barbarians, cheats, unnatural wretches who have no other laws but force, no other curb than their passions and the dread of authority, no other tie than irreligion and independence, no other gods than themselves.
- p. 348.