He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
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Augustine of Hippo
11. Since then it is evident, that many are to judge with the Lord, but that others are to be judged, not however on equality, but according to their deserts; He will come with all His Angels, when before Him shall be gathered all nations, and among all the Angels are to be reckoned those that have been made so perfect, that sitting upon twelve thrones they judge the twelve tribes of Israel. For men are called Angels: the Apostle saith of himself, "As an angel of God ye received me." Of John Baptist it is said, "Behold, I send My Angel before Thy face, that shall prepare Thy way before Thee." Therefore, coming with all Angels, together with Him He shall have the Saints also. For plainly saith Isaias also, "He shall come to judgment with the elders of the people." Those "elders of the people," then, those but now named Angels, those thousands of many men made perfect coming from the whole world, are called Heaven. But the others are called earth, yet fruitful. Which is the earth that is fruitful? That which is to be set on the right hand, unto which it shall be said, "I was an hungred, and ye gave Me to eat:" truly fruitful earth in which the Apostle doth joy, when they sent to him to supply his necessities: "Not because I ask a gift," he saith, "but I require fruit." And he giveth thanks, saying, "Because at length yehave budded forth again to be thoughtful for me." He saith, "Ye have budded forth again," as to trees which had withered away with a kind of barrenness. Therefore the Lord coming to judgment (that we may nowhear the Psalm, brethren), He will do what? "He will call the heaven from above" (ver. 4). The heaven, all the Saints, those made perfect that shall judge, them He shall call from above, to be sitters with Him to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. For how shall "He call the heaven from above," when the heaven is always above? But those that He here calleth heaven, the same elsewhere He calleth heavens. What heavens? That tell out the glory of God: for, "The heavens tell out the glory of God:" whereof is said, "Into all the earth their sound hath gone forth, and into the ends of the world their words." For see the Lord severing in judgment: "He shall call the heaven from above and the earth, to sever His people." From whom but from evil men? Of whom here afterwards no mention is made, now as it were condemned to punishment. See these good men, and distinguish. "He shall call the heaven from above, and the earth, to sever His people." He calleth the earth also, not however to be associated, but to be dissociated. For at first He called them together, "when the God of gods spake and called the world from the rising of the sun unto the going down," He had not yet severed: those servants had been sent to bid to the marriage, who had gathered good and bad. But when the God of gods shall come manifest and shall not keep silence, He shall so call the "heaven from above" that it may judge with Him. For what the heaven is, the heavens themselves are; just as what the earth is, the lands themselves, just as what the Church is, the Churches themselves: "He shall call the heaven from above, and the earth, to sever His people." Now with the heaven He severeth the earth, that is, the heaven with Him doth sever the earth. How doth He sever the earth? In such sort that He setteth on the right hand some, others on the left. But to the earth severed, He saith what? "Come, ye blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom which was prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me to eat," and so forth. But they say, "When saw we Thee an hungred?" And He, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of Mine, ye have done it unto Me." "He shall call therefore the heaven from above, and the earth, to sever His people."