In that day the Lord of hosts will become a magnificent crown
And a glorious diadem to the [converted] remnant of His people,
A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment [administering the law],
A strength to those who drive back the battle at the gate. – Isaiah 28:5-6
Ecclesiastical judgment is spiritual, in distinction from that which is civil or secular. Ecclesiastical judgment is ministerial and executive, not lordly or legislative. Christ is the sole lawgiver in His spiritual kingdom; and the proper business of the office bearers whom He hath appointed is to interpret and carry into execution those laws which He has given forth and enrolled in His statute book.
THE SPIRIT WHICH IS REQUISITE FOR THE EXERCISE OF ECCLESIASTICAL JUDGMENT, and which is promised in the text. Jesus Christ is not only the exemplar, but also the foundation of all qualifications for ruling in the Church.
- The spirit of wisdom and understanding. A good heart and upright intentions are not enough here. Knowledge, prudence, and discernment are peculiarly requisite for the management of public affairs. Those who are invested with office in the Church must be men “full of wisdom,” as well as “of the Holy Ghost.”
- The spirit of disinterestedness and impartiality. This is “the spirit of judgment”–when the individual is sunk in the public functionary–when on crossing the threshold of the sanctuary and ascending the seat of judgment he forgets self and all worldly considerations.
- A spirit of patience and meekness.
- The spirit of holy resolution and courage.
- The spirit of humility and dependence on God.