ADVENT brings Christmas, judgement runs out into mercy.
For the God who saves us and the God who judges us is one God. We
are not, even, condemned by his severity and redeemed by his compassion;
what judges us is what redeems us, the love of God. What is it that
will break our hearts on judgement day? Is it not the vision, suddenly
unrolled, of how he has loved the friends we have neglected, of how he
has loved us, and we have not loved him in return; how, when we came (as
now) before his altar, he gave us himself, and we gave him half—penitences,
or resolutions too weak to commit our wills? But while love thus
judges us by being what it is, the same love redeems us by effecting what
it does. Love shares flesh and blood with us in this present world,
that the eyes which look us through at last may find in us a better substance
than our vanity.