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any invasions upon these unredeemed provinces of thought, or even follow the flights which the more pure and self-denied spirits of former ages have taken. There is one man in these realms who hath addressed himself to such a godlike life, and dwelt alone amidst the grand and lovely scenes of nature, and the deep, unfathomable secrecies of human thought. Would to heaven it were allowed to others to do likewise! And he hath been rewarded with many new cogitations of nature and of nature's God, and he hath heard, in the stillness of his retreat, many new voices of his conscious spirit-all which he hath sung in harmonious numbers. But, mark the Epicurean soul of this degraded age! They have frowned on him; they have spit on him; they have grossly abused him. The masters of this critical generation (like generation, like masters!) have raised the hue and cry against him; the literary and sentimental world, which is their sounding-board, hath reverberated it; and every reptile who can retail an opinion in print, hath spread it, and given his reputation a shock, from which it is slowly recovering.--All for what? For making nature and his own bosom his home, and daring to sing of the simple but sublime truths which were revealed to him; for daring to be free in his manner of uttering genuine feeling and depicting natural beauty, and grafting thereon devout and solemn contemplations of God. Had he sent his Cottage Wanderer forth upon an excursion amongst courts and palaces, batile-fields, and scenes of faithless gallantry, his musings would have been more welcome, being far deeper and tenderer than those of the heartless Childe;' but because the man hath valued virtue, and retiring modesty, and common household truth, over these the ephemeral decorations or excessive depravities of our condition, therefore he is hated and abused! All which I go aside to mention, in order to find for the cloudy indistinctness of those preliminary thoughts of Judgment some apology in the active bustling spirit of this age, and especially of this my profession, of which every individual is in some measure the slave, and of which slavery I feel too much the influence. This life I feel to be neither an Apostolic nor a philosophic life. It hath in it no quietness, no retirement, no contemplation. It is driven on by duty. The spur of engagement ever galleth it. There is no free bounding of the mind along the high courses of thought. And a narrow style of opinions hath set in upon free thought, like a stream confined within bounds, which teareth up and delugeth all the
open plain. And a hot zeal for orthodoxy consumeth speculation up, or fretteth it into madness; and the canker hath eaten so deep into the judgments of men, that I question whether any one will regard these lamentations in any better light than the murmurs of a discontented, or the reveries of an unintelligible, mind;-therefore, lest io apologizing for mystery, I should double the crime, I hasten forward in the review of my argument, which had advanced through the Preliminaries of Judgment to the Judgment itself.
In a subject so unbounded as the abjudication to all men of their proper allotments of praise and blame, of reward and punishment, the danger was, that imagination should keep no bound, or that enumeration should have no end. Against which evils to guard our discourse, we deemed it best to hold to some one description of the judgment recorded in Scripture. Choosing for this end the description of our Lord in the 25th chapter of Matthew, we did our endeavour to open up the meaning of the tests there given, and apply them to the various cases of men. Simple as they were, we found them to contain the most perfect proofs of attachment to Christ, implying no less than an adherence to him and his interests in the face of the six great perils of human life, and a contentment for his sake to forego all gain and undergo all loss. We frund also, that not only did it furnish a perfect test of attachment, but also a rule of universal application for the judging of ourselves. For, seeing the great spring of all our activity is to escape from these six evils, hunger, thirst, nakedness, sickness, forlornness and confinement; and to reach the six opposite goods, meat, drink, clothing, health, friends and liberty; we are ever called to account, upon the steps we have taken to make these fortunate passages, and we are reminded that the interests of Christ, or his least brother, are not to suffer upon any account. If these interests be postponed to the other, then we prefer the good condition without Christ to the bad condition with him; we cast him off, because of the evil plight in which we find him, and into which he might happen to lead us.
So that, though we should live in an age where there were neither Christian, orphans, sick, nor prisoners, we were as able to bring ourselves to the bar as if the church were again labouring under her six great disabilities; having only to observe the spirit in which we prosecuteil the amendment of our worldly estate, whether in subservience to Christ or not. This principle of Judgment being developed, we
then passed on to apply it to various conditions of men, that We might show how simple and efficient it is for the intended purpose. Here our subject properly concluded; but we thought it good to advert to two prejudices, one existing within, the other existing without, the church. The former presuming that orthodox faith, the latter that our worldly accomplishments, would carry a certain weight-the one view narrow, the other erroneous. For without faith in Christ, which is a belief of that he set himself furth to be, there can be no affection generated, and consequently no sacrifices made; but the affection being once evidenced by the sacrifices, there needeth no further inquiry into the faith, which then hath served all its use. As to worldly accomplishments, which have no relation to Christ, we abjured them utterly from Christian judgment. They have their reward from men in time; but if a reward from God in eternity is wanted, it must be sought after his way, not after our own. Thus having opened up, applied, and justified the tests of acquittal and condemnation, we were in a state to pass on to the issues of Judgment.
In treating which, we endeavoured to keep from a coarse vulgar sensuality on the one hand, and a weak, refined sentiment on the other;-giving to heaven and hell some intelligible form, and some identity with the present good and bad of human conditions. For almost all Christians, in their eagerness to keep the spirit of our faith free from Heathen and Mahomedan superstitions, have set forth nothing tangible upon the subject of future conditions. Their heaven is the heaven of a metaphysician or a devotee, not of a man; their hell a bugbear only to children. In our endeavour to give breadth of exposition to this subject, we kept as close as possible to the revelation, and sought merely to become its interpreters. Having drawn our sketches to the best of our ability, we then went at length into the question of their duration, resting it upon positive revelation, upon the analogies of the Christian system, upon the nature of God, and the nature of sin as known from experience;--and with this ended our argument of Judgment to Come, of which we came then to exhibit the Conclusion.
But, whereas it might fare to some readers to be excited by those terrible pictures which we were fain to draw, and to cry out, What shall we do to be saved? we thought it would not be amiss to interpose an inquiry upon the way of escape from the wrath to come. Here we felt it needful to shake nature again out of her insecure refuges, before open
ing up the only city of refuge that holdeth good against the terrible day of the Lord, which is a life devoted to holiness, a new birth, and a spiritual life. To bring this style of living prominently forth, we took a distinction between spiritual life and the three ordinary states of natural life; life sensual, intellectual, and moral; establishing from the very con. stitution of each, that all, save the first, were linked to the body, the world and human society, must dissolve with their dissolution; and have in them neither the intention of, nor provision for any thing beyond. Now, as it might happen to many a reader not to possess this spiritual life, we felt bound by an interest in their souls to open up its two great sources (two they are regarded, but they are only one,) the Word and Spirit of God. Here we felt trammelled and con- , fined by crude and insufficient notions popular in the churches: but we did not flinch from the utterance of the truth, as we believe it, for the salvation of souls. Not that we provoke controversy, but that we love truth, and wish to see the confused mind of the people set to rights upon the true source and origin of spiritual life. Having joined in harmony the Word and Spirit of God, to disunite which, is to deforce the power of both, we feel at liberty again, and now proceed to wind up and conclude the whole.
Now, then, let me draw this argument to a close, and cast myself, as it were sword in hand, on the strengths into which nature shuts herself up against all access of the thoughts of death, judgment, and eternity: but no! rather let me hold one other parley with the garrison, before I bring it to the desperate extremity of the forlorn hope.
Well then, once more hear me with a willing ear. Suppose our shores were visited, as have been those of a deeply injured land, visited every now and then by the transporting vessels of a remorseless, resistless enemy, who seized all arrived at a certain age, bound them hand and foot, had them to their boats, made sail, and were no more seen till they came for another cargo of human flesh. Our parents, our kindred, our friends, upon whom we hang, and in whose bosoms we are established by ties too fearfully strong, grow up around us, approach the changeful term of years, touch it, and are lanched off across the ocean, whither no eye can follow them, out of all reach of inquiry and of affection; the ears of the enemy being deaf to intercession as the ear of death, and their tongue mute to explanation as the voice of the grave. Thus suppose it to fare with any people, ties growing stronger to be the more cruelly rent
asunder, ourselves at length to be parted from our dear homes and dearer children. Thus abused, the people remain from year to year in deepest misery about their parted friends, in deepest grief over themselves, soon to be parted. Now conceive that some gallant brave one upon the other side of the oft-navigated gulf, taking pity upon the poor people beyond, and upon the calamitous case to which they were brought, moved with a 'most adventurous spirit of love, should steal away by night, cut out a frail pinnace, night and day navigate the dread expanse, and after unheard' of endurance, set upon our shores the only friendly foot that ever came from that quarter of the compass. He makes known whence he came, and upon what errand; we crowd down to his presence, he shows us tokens of our friends, and convinceth us he hath truly come from amongst them -he tells us they still live-he tells us the people die not on the other side the sea, but live for evermore he tells us, that so soon as they arrive, they are mustered, and put to a certain proof-that those who stand the proof become the freemen, the masters, the rulers of the region, and bless the day they were forced out of places where the image of happiness is never seen, into a place which its true form and balmy essence never forsake them. He tells, on the other hand, that those who stood not the proof were made thralls of, slaves, basest bondsmen, to be tasked, and driven without mercy and without hope, aye enduring, and aye able to endure, aye grieving, and never hopeful of deliverance. What, what is that most fearful proof, upon which hangeth such diversity of fatei tell us, tell us quickly, they would all exo claim. Then he opens his mouth, and reveals the mighty truth, that there is no chance of delivering them from transportation, that there is no chance of altering the laws upon the other side, that all he can do is to bring them intelligence, and put it in their power to pass the fiery trial. They all exclaim again-What is that terrible trial upon which destiny hangs? He puts his hand to his bosom, and he takes from it a book, and he delivers that book to the people, and calls it the Testament to them in his blood. And having done so, he drops down dead of his fatigue and endurance upon their account. Describe to me the agony of gratitude, and admiration, and grief, in the bosoms of that highly-favoured nation. But they have not time to indulge their deeply-moved feelings. Another fatal shipment may be instantly called for, they sit down to the far-borne book to embalm it in their memory. They find, to their happiness, that it is