Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
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Augustine of Hippo
8. "And a mighty tempest round about Him" (ver. 3). "A mighty tempest," in order to winnow so great a floor. In this tempest shall be that winnowing whereby from the saints shall be put away everything impure, from the faithful every unreality; from godly men and them that fear the Word of God, every scorner and every proud man. For now a sort of mixture doth lie there, from the rising of the sun unto the going down. Let us see then how He will do that is to come, what He will do with that tempest which "shall be a mighty tempest round about Him." Doubtless this tempest is to make a sort of separation. It is that separation which they waited not for, who brake the nets, before they came to land. But in this separation there is made a sort of distinction between good men and bad men. There be some that now follow Christ with lightened shoulders without the load of the world's cares, who have not heard in vain, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poo...
6. What then, brethren? This God of gods, both then hidden, and now hidden, shall He ever be hidden? Evidently not: hear what followeth: "God shall come manifest" (ver. 3). He that came hidden, shall come manifest. Hidden He came to be judged, manifest He shall come to judge: hidden He came that He might stand before a judge, manifest He shall come that He may be judge even of judges: "He shall come manifest, and shall not be silent." But why? Is He now silent? And whence are all the words that we say? whence those precepts? whence those warnings? whence that trumpet of terror? He is not silent, and is silent: is not silent from warning, is silent from avenging: is not silent from precept, is silent from judgment. For He suffereth sinners daily doing evil things, not caring for God, not in their conscience, not in heaven, not in earth: all these things escape Him not, and universally He doth admonish all; and whenever He chastiseth any on earth, it is admonition, not yet condemnation. ...
Silence. Christ displayed the light of truth from Sion, at his first coming. But he would not judge any till the second, John iii. 17., and viii. 15. (St. Jerome) (Calmet)
Before him, at the last day, (Haydock) or in hell. (St. Athanasius)
Our Saviour appeared formerly with great mildness: but he will come with majesty and terror, after fire shall have destroyed all transitory things. (Worthington)