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have been completely lost in the heed which the churches have given to their sectarian distinctions.
This discordance, between the Apostolical and the modern theology, we confess, was the first thing that drew our attention to the state of the soul immediately consequent on death. And on pursuing it we were led into the speculations given above, which, whatever may be thought of their soundness, have the merit of giving truth and meaning to the Apostolic way of speaking, and of putting into the hands of their successors the same powerful weapon for arresting the attention of a careless world. We have another solution of this difficulty, derived from metaphysical considerations of the nature of Time; which is, however, too abstract and tedious to be embodied in this discourse. Only let it be observed, before passing on to judgment, that the general argument is in nothing prejudiced by the soundess or unsoundness of this digression, which was introduced solely to explain how the soul might acquire that consciousness of her acts, and that conviction of her deservings, which are essential in a culprit, before condemnation can pass upon him with any effect. Now this is a question concerning the consciousness of the judged, not a question concerning the justice of the sentence that is to be passed,-a question of speculation not of fact, and therefore it doth not prejudice the great argument on which we are engaged, and on which we now venture again with trust, by the help of God, to bring it to a happy issue.
OF JUDGMENT TO COME.
ACTS XVII. 30, 31. GOD COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO
REPENT : BECAUSE HE HATH APPOINTED A DAY, IN THE WHICH HE WILL JUDGE THE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.
THE LAST JUDGMENT.
AD our occupation in this Discourse been that of the poet or the orator, we have now before us a subject which, for the magnificence of the scenery, the magnitude of the transaction, and the durable effects which it draweth on, stands unrivalled in the annals of human knowledge; -and with which the powers of conception are unable to contend. Imagination is distressed to form the idea of the scene. The great white throne descending out of heaven, guarded and begirt with the principalities and
powers thereof the awful presence at whose sight the heavens and the earth flee away, and no place for them is. found-the shaking of the mother elements of nature, and the commotion of the hoary deep, to render
up their long dissolved dead-the rushing together of quickened men upon all the winds of heaven down to the centre, where the Judge sitteth on his blazing throne-To give form and figure to the outward pomp and circumstances of such a scene, no imagination availeth. Nor doth
the understanding labour less. The archangel, with the trump of God, riding sublime in the midst of heaven, and sending through the widest dominions of death and the grave, that sharp summons which divideth the solid earth, and rings through the caverns of the hollow deep, piercing the dull cold ear of death and the grave, with the knell of their departed reign ; the death of Death, the revival of the grave, the everlasting reign of life, and second birth of living things, the reunion of body and soul—the one from unconscious sleep, the other from apprehensive or unquiet abodes,-and the congregation of all generations over whom the stream of time hath swept -This outstretches my understanding no less than the material imagery confuses my imagination. And when I bring the picture to my heart, its feelings are shaken and overwhelmed : When I fancy this quick and conscious frame one instant reawakened, the next reinvested, the next summoned before the face of Almighty God-now rebegotten, now sifted through every secret corner--this poor soul, possessed with the memory of its misdeeds, submitted to the scorching eye of my Maker~my fate depending upon his lips, my everlasting, changeless fate,--I shrink and shiver with deadly apprehension.
And when I fancy the myriads of men all standing thus searched and known, I seem to hear their shiverings like the aspen leaves in the still evening of Autumn. Pale fear possesseth every countenance, and blank conviction every quaking
heart. · They stand like men upon the perilous edge of battle, withholden from speech and pinched for breath through excess of struggling emotions-shame, remorse, mortal apprehension, and trembling hope. Then the recording angel openeth the book of God's remembrance, and inquisition proceedeth apace. Anon they move quicker than thought to the right and left, two most innumerous companies. From his awful seat, his countenance clothed with the smile which makes all heaven gay, the Judge pronounceth blessing for ever and ever upon the heads of his disciples, and dispenseth to them a kingdom prepared by God from the first of time. These, seized with the tidings of unexpected deliverance, feel it like a dream, and wonder with ecstasy at the unbounded love of their Redeemer. They wonder, and declare their unworthiness, but are reassured by the voice of him that changeth not. Then joy seizeth their whole soul, and assurance of immortal bliss. Their trials are ended, their course is finished, the prize is won, and the crown of eternal life is laid up for them in store; and they hasten to inherit the fulness of joy and pleasures which are at the right hand of God for evermore. Again the Judge lifteth up his voice, his countenance clothed in that frown which kindled hell, and he pronounceth eternal perdition with the devil and his angels, upon the wretched people who despised and rejected him on earth. They remonstrate, but remonstrance is vain. It is finished with hope, it is finished with grace, it is finished with mercy; justice hath begun her terrible reign, to endure for ever. Then arise from myriads of myriads the groans and shrieks and thrênes of despair; they invoke every mother element of nature to consume their being back into her dark womb; they call upon the rocks to crush them, and the hills to cover them from the terrible presence of the Lord and from his consuming wrath. And there will be episodes of melting tenderness at this final parting of men! and eternal farewells! but, ah! the word farewell hath forgotten its meaning, and wishes of welfare now are vain. A new order of things hath commenced; the age of necessity hath begun its reign; and all change is for ever sealed.
This mighty crisis in the history of the human race, this catastrophe of evil and consummation of good, fortunately it is not our province to clothe with living imagery, else our faculties would misgive and fail. But if our divine Poet hath, by his mighty genius, rendered to conception the fallen angels beneath the sulphureous canopy of hell; their shapes, their array, their welfare and their high debates, so as to charm and captivate our souls by the grandeur of their sentiments and the splendour of their chivalry, and cheat us into sympathy and pity, and even admiration; how might such another spirit
(if it shall please the Lord to yield another such,) draw forth the theme of judgment from its ambiguous light, give it form and circumstance, feeling and expression, so that it should strike home upon